Monday, November 20, 2006

Raw Report

Date: 11/20/06 from Baltimore, MD.

The Big News: This show was focused on Survivor Series, and specifically the tag team elimination matches.

Title Changes/Turns: None.

Conclusive Finishes: 4 of 5. Bravo.

Match Results: Umaga b Sabu; Jeff Hardy b Johnny Nitro; Dusty Rhodes b Nicky Nemeth; Lita b Mickie James; John Cena, Triple H, Shawn Michaels & Ric Flair b Big Show, Edge, Randy Orton & Kenny Doane.

Show Analysis:

The show started with John Cena’s team coming out. Cena even got in an inadvertent reference to Tim Sylvia. Cena said that his team would like to start Survivor Series early. That brought out other teams one by one. First Edge and Randy Orton’s team came out, then Ric Flair’s team, then the Spirit Squad, then DX’s team, then Big Show’s team. After all of them issued challenges back and forth, Vince McMahon announced an all captains 8 man main event. I liked this open to the show, with the focus on the Survivor Series teams.

Umaga defeated Sabu with ease. Umaga hit a palm thrust to the throat and chop, threw Sabu into the barricade, and hit a yakuza kick. Sabu came back with a springboard leg lariat, drop kick to the leg and springboard DDT. He went for another springboard but was caught with the Samoan spike for the pin. The crowd wasn’t into Sabu at all, but I’m all for putting people over strongly so this segment was a success.

Torrie Wilson was shooting t-shirts into the crowd when Chris Masters came out. Masters came onto Torrie. That brought out Carlito, who attacked Masters. He was leaving the ring when Masters jumped him from behind and applied the Masterlock. Jerry Lawler made the save. Backstage, Johnny Nitro and Melina dedicated their upcoming victory to Kevin Federline. Kenny picked Nicky over Johnny for the upcoming match with Dusty Rhodes, and Kenny confronted Ric Flair. Flair introduced Roddy Piper’s replacement for Survivor Series, Ron Simmons.

Jeff Hardy retained his Intercontinental Title by defeating Johnny Nitro in an entertaining spotfest ladder match. Hardy hit the whisper in the wind, used a baseball slide to send the ladder into Nitro, and hit a pescado. Hardy went to climb the ladder, but was pushed off. He was then crotched on the top rope, but came back to drop kick the ladder into Nitro. Nitro tried to monkey flip Hardy into the ladder but Hardy landed on the ladder and tried to climb to the belt. That was a cool spot.

Nitro drop kicked Hardy off the ladder and hit Hardy with the ladder. Nitro went to climb, but was pulled off. Hardy slammed Nitro on the ladder and went for the swanton off the top. Nitro rolled off the ladder and Hardy came crashing down on the ladder in a sick spot. Nitro threw Hardy into the ladder, hit a neck breaker, and drove the ladder into Hardy’s ribcage. Hardy whipped Nitro into the ladder and hit a sunset flip power bomb off the ladder. He dove off the top rope over a ladder with a leg drop, which was another impressive spot. Hardy trapped Nitro under the ladder and climbed up to get the belt.

Dusty Rhodes beat Nicky Nemeth. Rhodes got kind of a disappointing reaction in Baltimore, and that really hurt this match since you knew it wasn’t going to be a good match going in. Nicky went after Dusty’s leg. Dusty caught Nicky coming off the top rope with a punch. He hit the flip, flop and fly, and dropped the elbow for the pin. Backstage, Edge and Randy Orton got into an argument with Cryme Tyme. Orton said they would be the tag champions for a long time, while Cryme Tyme called Orton a metrosexual cracka. They invited Maria to hang out with them.

Lita beat Mickie James. This week Mickie James was blindfolded. I hate this gimmick. Lita jumped Mickie from behind with punches, kicks, a DDT, and a moonsault for the win. Lita talked about what an influence she has had on women’s wrestling, and said without her there would be no Mickie James or Trish Stratus. The whole promo was kind of silly. Lita said she would beat Mickie James at Survivor Series, and then retire as the greatest women’s champion of all time.

John Cena, DX and Ric Flair beat Big Show, Edge, Randy Orton and Kenny. The heels jumped Cena and Flair and worked them over until DX came out. The faces cleared the ring and took turns on the isolated Edge. Michaels hit an elbow off the top and went for sweet chin music, but Edge was pulled out of the ring. Show, who looks very immobile these days, came in with head butts and clotheslines. Show went for a double choke slam on DX but was kicked low three times by Flair, Michaels and HHH to stop him.

Coming after a break, the heels took turns on Michaels. Orton gave him the Garvin stomp, while Show hit a big boot and leg drop. Orton went for the RKO, but Michaels escaped and tagged Cena. Cena went to town on Kenny with the Cena slam, five knuckle shuffle and an FU attempt. Show broke that up and went for the choke slam, but Cena got out and Michaels knocked Show out of the ring with sweet chin music. Cena hit the FU on Kenny for the pin. All the Survivor Series teams came out at the end and fought with each other.

Final Thoughts:

Raw showed marked improvement this week in just about every way. There was better wrestling, better build, less nonsense, and even clean finishes. This show was much, much better booked than last night’s TNA Genesis show, and I would not have taken that bet going in. Hopefully for WWE the improved focus did not come too late to help the Survivor Series buy rate.


Blogger nevs999 said...

"Conclusive Finishes: 4 of 5. Bravo."

Todd, I thought of you as I FF'ed through each conclusive finish on the handy, dandy DVR.

I didn't understand where the "line brawl" (hockey term) came from to end the show, but all in all - the show wasn't a painful experience to watch.

At this point, I'll take it.

- Matt in Anchorage

4:59 PM  

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