Saturday, July 15, 2006

Saturday Night's Main Event Report

Date: 07/15/06 from Dallas, TX.

The Big News: John Cena defeated Edge by disqualification, but was unable to wrest the title from the Rated R superstar. Also, Hulk Hogan and Randy Orton will be wrestling at SummerSlam, and DX completely squashed the Spirit Squad two on five.

Title Changes/Turns: None.

Match Results: Rey Mysterio, Booker T & Bobby Lashley b King Booker T, Fit Finlay & Mark Henry; Carlito Caribbean Cool & Trish Stratus b Johnny Nitro & Melina; Elimination Rules: Triple H & Shawn Michaels b Kenny Doane, Johnny Jeter, Nicky Nemeth, Mikey Mondo & Mitch Mitch; Extreme Rules: Sabu b Steven Richards; Bull-Riding Rules: Michelle McCool b Victoria; WWE Title: John Cena b Edge-DQ.

Show Analysis:

Hulk and Brooke Hogan came out to start the show, which was a smart touch to make the best possible effort to keep viewers from changing the channel. Brooke said it was an honor to be in a WWE ring with her father. Hulk said he’s very proud of Brooke, and that he was on the first Saturday Night’s Main Event and Hulkamania’s still running wild. Randy Orton came out with a rose. He said he couldn’t miss an opportunity to meet the greatest legend ever and the beautiful Brooke. Brooke seemed enamored with Orton, while Hulk seemed suspicious. Orton respectfully challenged Hulk to a match at SummerSlam, Hulk accepted, and they shook hands.

I liked the start of this segment, but the second half felt incredibly rushed. This segment should have ended with Orton giving Brooke the rose and leaving. Orton then seduces Brooke over time, and makes her fall in love with him. Hulk is suspicious of Orton’s motives, and this finally culminates with Hulk discovering that Orton is in fact just using Brooke to get at Hulk and make a name for himself. Brooke has her heart broken, and Hulk challenges Orton to a grudge match.

That is the story they should be telling, and it’s more than a five week story. I understand they want to promote Brooke’s album, but I don’t understand why they couldn’t have her on TV for a longer period telling this story to promote the album and then have the match later in the fall or even beyond that. There was real potential for a match people would care about. Instead, they have the same problem they did with Randy Orton vs. Triple H in 2004. They have something good, but they just aren’t giving it enough time to unfold.

Batista, Bobby Lashley and Rey Mysterio beat Booker T, Finlay and Mark Henry. This was exactly what you would expect. Batista got a great reaction, and looked leaner. Michael Cole labeled Rey the greatest underdog champion of all time, which I guess means the guy who kept the title the longest while losing constantly. Lashley hit an overhead belly to belly on Finlay early. The heels then worked over Rey for the majority of the match.

Little Bastard came out from under the ring and attacked Rey with the shillelagh. Rey finally tagged Batista, who came in and cleared the ring with body slams. He gave Booker a spine buster, Rey gave Booker the 619, and Batista hit the Batista bomb for the pin. This was effective for what it was. King Booker certainly hasn’t been given the greatest push towards a world title shot, but Batista had to pin someone here, and it was either going to be the title contender or the new U.S. champion.

Backstage, Vince McMahon fired up the Spirit Squad. As Vince and the Squad continued talking, HHH and Shawn Michaels did a voiceover parodying what they were saying. They showed highlights of the prelim diva bull-riding contest and announced that Michelle McCool and Victoria had advanced to the finals.

Carlito and Trish Stratus beat Johnny Nitro and Melina in a quick match. Melina and Trish went at it first, with Melina going to the eyes and hair, and Trish using punches and chops. They tagged the men. Carlito hit a drop kick, and as Melina and Trish brawled to the outside, he hit the back cracker for the pin. They showed Kevin Von Erich being introduced to the crowd earlier in the evening.

DX squashed the Spirit Squad 2 on 5. They had holding cages for the eliminated wrestlers, but sadly they didn’t lift them up in the air like in the 80s. This was just hilarious. Shawn hit sweet chin music on Mitch to eliminate him. HHH gave Johnny the pedigree to send him packing. Kenny left the ringside area, giving Vince McMahon a chance to hit Shawn with a chair, but Shawn still tagged HHH.

HHH gave Nicky the pedigree for another pin. Shawn gave Mikey sweet chin music for another elimination. Finally, Shawn hit an elbow off the top on Kenny. He gave Kenny sweet chin music, HHH gave him the pedigree and DX scored the win. Shawn then gave Vince sweet chin music and DX locked Vince in the cage with the Spirit Squad. At least the heels got in a little offense at Uncensored 1996.

Daivari was in the ring talking up the Great Khali when the Big Show came out with Paul Heyman. This wasn’t the greatest idea, as all of a sudden Khali didn’t look that big and imposing. Big Show said some time they’ll have to figure out who the best big man is, but for now he just wanted to put over Khali for dominating Undertaker. Undertaker came out and cleared Khali from the ring. Show backed off but then jumped Taker from behind. Taker and Show fired blows. Taker grabbed both Khali and Show by the throat, but instead they gave him a double choke slam. Backstage, Big Show challenged Undertaker to an ECW title match on Tuesday. They really should just call that brand something else at this point.

Sabu beat Steven Richards in an extreme rules match. Richards ran from Sabu until Sabu threw a chair at him. He hit the triple jump moonsault and a botched atomic Arabian face buster (is there any other kind?) for the pin. Orton spoke with Brooke backstage while Joey Styles had the duty of telling us how eagerly anticipated her album is. Hulk stepped in, and Orton gave Hulk a pedigree on his car from behind. Brooke didn’t see what happened. Michelle beat Victoria in the bull-riding final. Jim Ross sarcastically put over the entertainment value of this, which was pretty much the highlight.

John Cena beat Edge via DQ. They brawled early. Edge gained control, and went for a badly botched superplex spot with an ugly landing. Cena came back with punches, the five knuckle shuffle, and the FU. Lita pulled the referee out of the ring to stop him from counting. Cena then applied the STFU, but Lita wouldn’t let the referee in the ring and struck him. Edge was tapping, but the referee called for the DQ. Edge gave Cena a spear after the match, but Cena came back. Cena hit him with a television monitor and gave him the FU off the ring steps through the announcer’s table. That was a spectacular image, but the match was a short, sloppy mess with a crappy finish.

Final Thoughts:

If this is the final Saturday Night’s Main Event, they went off on a good note. This was one of the better WWE shows of the past few weeks. Granted that isn’t the highest praise, but this show was much more focused. The wrestling played more than a tertiary role, the show wasn’t overbooked, and the pacing was good. It wasn’t a great show or anything, but there was much less crap and that’s good enough for me.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Cortez said...

the show sucked, mind you i saw it at a chills

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

I did'nt really care for it either though at least there are long-term storylines for the top two Raw programs. But those matches were booked terrible tonight particularly the main event. It was the cheapest of endings possible with the referee actually seeing the submission and then calling for the DQ. Why would he do this? I can appreciate not changing the titles but come up with some kind of a smarter finish than that. Be it a double DQ or countout, or have Cena pin him in a non-title. For such an important show, they can't treat it like any other Raw.
Like Todd, I saw the gruesome allusion to Uncensored 96 in the DX match. If this program leads to DX vs McMahons, how am I supposed to be interested in that match if DX just destroyed the tag champs? Surely, if they can beat five wrestlers handily, two non-wrestlers will be no problem? Of course, it won't play out that way, that will just be another huge logic hole resulting from nepotistic booking.
I guess Stevie Richards is the 2006 version of Pete Dougherty, the largely useless jobber who got to wrestle on national TV. At least he'll have a good story for the grandkids.
Speaking of the first SNME, shouldn't they mention the fact that Hulk Hogan defeated Bob Orton on that show? That's a pretty cool piece of symmetry ignored completely. In general, WWE did not put over the history of SNME enough in promoting these two specials which is one reason fans saw it as just another two hours of wrestling.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

That's a fantastic point on Bob Ortion wrestling Hogan on the first. I completely forgot about that while they were doing the angle, and yeah, it fits really well. As for the promotion of the history of the event, I don't know what could be done to make hours 6 and 7 of WWE programming for the week feel important. I wasn't even planning on watching the show had not Dave asked me to write up a report. It certainly wasn't a chore, but I didn't much care.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous MAZ said...

I think that I am just about ready to write off wrestling altogether.

What is the age difference between Orton and Brooke Hogan? I know that Hogan is like either 17 or 18. Is Orton 30? I hope this doesn't head down the same path as Kane and Lita. Also, I hope this doesn't turn into a remake of the old Randy Savage - Hulk Hogan feud with Brooke Hogan playing the part of Ms. Elizabeth.

Is there a more feared manuever in all of wrestling as when Sabu throws a chair at someone?

I don't mind the DX squash because one key element to good programming is to give the audience something that they want and, in this case, that is (1) DX and (2) to watch someone that they like to kick ass. So I would guess that this match probably went over well with the crowd.

Cena-Edge was predictable.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous the masterbater said...

Hey Todd just wondering if you know any good websites that I can purchase dvd's on the Super J Cup in "94" and also some of The Great Muta in Japan (not when he was in the states, cause they pulled him back) Just the ones where he is in Japan thanks.

8:01 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I ordered the J Cups as well as NJPW from that time period from RF Video. Of course, he never had the rights to those tapes, which got him into trouble later, and now people are a lot more cautious about selling Japanese tapes they don't have the rights to. So I don't have a good answer. Maybe someone else can help out. You might want to try Bob Barnett at http://www.bobbarnett.com/catalog/. I know he has more stuff than what is listed and would guess he's willing to sell it if you ask. You might want to try the same approach from tape traders you find on google.

11:31 PM  

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