Monday, March 26, 2007

Raw Report

Date: 03/26/07 from Chicago, IL.

The Big News: WrestleMania is Sunday, and Shawn Michaels finally gave John Cena sweet chin music.

Conclusive Finishes: 3 of 6.

Show Analysis:

Jonathan Coachman came out to start the show. He said that the Lashley vs. McMahon match would be no DQ, and that any undesired interference would result in fine or suspension. Stone Cold Steve Austin made his way to the ring, and said that he received gifts purportedly from Donald Trump but that were actually sent by Vince McMahon. He said that McMahon was trying to make it seem that Trump wanted to bribe him. Coach claimed that he was the one that did that, and McMahon had nothing to do with it. He apologized. Austin said that he will call the match straight down the middle and beat up anyone who doesn’t abide by what he says. Coach said that both he and Austin prove bald is beautiful. Austin stunned him.

Austin was leaving in his truck right as McMahon was arriving in his limousine. The two vehicles honked at each other, and McMahon started to yell at the truck when he realized it was Austin. Austin gave him the finger. McMahon apologized, and then attacked and fired his limo driver. They ran a video package on Edge at WrestleMania VI. This was interesting only because he said he was the only person among the 60,000 in attendance who would realize his dream to become a WWE wrestler. That of course contradicts the long told WWE story of Edge attending that event with Christian.

Torrie Wilson, Candice Michelle and Ashley defeated Victoria, Jillian Hall and Melina. Melina slapped Ashley at the beginning, and the heels worked over Candice. Ashley tagged in, hit a spinning head scissors on Jillian, and hit a huracanrana on Victoria. Jillian went for a handspring elbow but was caught and Ashley used a victory roll for the pin. All this was sloppy as hell. I am adamantly opposed to taking women who have less than a year of training and are so limited fundamentally and allowing them to do a bunch of spectacular moves. Rather than making fans take Ashley seriously, it just tells the fans that anyone can do these moves and emphasizes that it’s all a big work.

CM Punk defeated Kenny Dykstra. Punk got a surprisingly strong reaction, even for his home city. He hit a double underhook back breaker, springboard clothesline, high knee and bulldog. He finished Dykstra with go 2 sleep. If they see something in Dykstra, and I think he has a lot of potential, they are better off leaving him in Ohio Valley than treating him like a nobody on television. Still, this was an effective segment in getting over Punk. Edge appeared on the screen afterwards and said Punk wouldn’t win at Mania. He said that Punk would have a chance to respond on the Cutting Edge.

The Cutting Edge featured all the Money in the Bank participants. Edge started by putting over himself. He said that he’s surprised Matt Hardy’s even on the WrestleMania card. Matt threatened to leave Edge lying on his back like his ex-girlfriend. King Booker said he’s the only King in the match. He called everyone else in the match peasants, which angered Finlay. Finlay challenged Edge to a fight. Orton told Finlay to chill because Edge might duck out of the match. Mr. Kennedy said he would win but Edge took away the mic before he could go into his usual spiel. Edge said, “Riveting stuff. Say your name.” That was hilarious.

Edge then basically said Jeff never speaks and just does his goofy dance. Jeff said he would steal the show at Mania. Finally Punk got to speak, with loud chants of “CM Punk.” Punk said Edge is addicted to running his mouth. Edge shoved Punk, which set off a brawl. Edge left. Matt, Jeff and Punk cleared the ring, and then went after Edge. Edge was pure gold here. He should be headlining. They announced that the Hall of Fame will be on USA, with the televised inductions of Curt Hennig, Jerry Lawler, Dusty Rhode and Jim Ross. John Cena cut a promo backstage, talking about everything that will happen at WrestleMania. His delivery was phenomenal.

Mr. McMahon beat Bobby Lashley. McMahon left the ring immediately. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch came out but their offense was no sold and they were quickly disposed of. Chris Masters and Johnny Nitro were next, but Masters received a half nelson slam and Nitro a running power slam. Finally, Umaga came out. As he started to brawl with Lashley, McMahon gave Lashley a low blow from behind. Umaga gave Lashley the Samoan drop. McMahon covered and the referee counted three even though Lashley kicked out. Umaga then hit a splash off the top, two running butt drops and the Samoan spike. McMahon pinned Lashley again.

Mr. Kennedy and Randy Orton beat Matt and Jeff Hardy. Kennedy and Orton worked over Jeff. He hit whisper in the wind and tagged Matt. Matt gave both heels the side effect. He went for the twist of fate on Kennedy, but Kennedy pushed him into an Orton RKO for the pin. They announced Jim Ross for the Hall of Fame. He got a really nice sustained reaction from the crowd. It was a touching and well deserved tribute.

Great Khali beat Ric Flair via disqualification. Khali no sold Flair’s chops. He was setting up Flair for the tree slam on the steps but Carlito made the save. Carlito got a tree slam for his efforts. Kane then came in with a hook and ran off Khali. Michaels cut a promo backstage. He said that he has stood the test of time and will win the title. This was a great promo by Michaels.

Undertaker and Batista beat John Cena and Shawn Michaels. Undertaker and Cena started, with both going for their finishers. Batista and Undertaker cleared the ring. They then squared off, but Cena jumped Undertaker. The crowd really didn’t like Cena. Cena sent Undertaker to the outside, and both he and Michaels sent Taker into the steps. Batista tagged himself in and clotheslined Cena. Batista hit a spine buster on Cena. He was setting up Cena for the Batista bomb as Taker had Michaels up for the press slam. However, Taker threw Michaels into Batista to break that and then left. Cena gave Batista the Cena slam and Michaels gave him the elbow off the top. They did a double five knuckle shuffle. At that point Michaels finally gave Cena sweet chin music. Batista covered Cena for the pin. This was a solid close to the final Raw before Mania.

Final Thoughts:

Raw’s WrestleMania build is complete, and they did a hell of a job. It should draw a strong buy rate (although they’re not touching Mayweather-De La Hoya, sorry). Now cross your fingers for next Monday. They have had solid builds for major PPVs in recent years where everything fell apart after the show. Hopefully this will be different and the promotion will follow through after Mania with a product that continues to be well booked and entertaining.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Jason said...

Lance Storm was also at WrestleMania VI, but I guess I can see them ignoring or forgetting that.

11:44 PM  
Blogger Pizano Paulie said...

Couple Things-

1. I have to imagine other future WWE "Superstars" were in attendance perhaps former European Champion Shane McMahon, or even former Women's Champ Nipple H...

2. The Cena promo seemed to be delivered with plenty of emotion. However the words coming out of his mouth are laughable "The Two Most Charasmatic Wrestlers EVER..." I think Stone Cold, Hogan, The Rock, and Ric Flair all would have something to say about that..

3. Edge was great per usual.. I really hope this is leading to a Edge vs everybody situation where he is able to steal a victory and keep his streak intact. Rather than well I wasn't pinned so it doesn't count. Or even worse the WWE lets pretend something never happened like when the said the masterlock was broken than said no never happened didn't count we want a redo..

4. Send Kenny down not only is he worthless to the roster right now but he is still so young and could use the polishing. He reminds me of a stud baseball prospect that seems can't miss and is brought up too early and as such looks blah...

5. What was wrong with the Anaconda Vice... Although the idea of them referring to Punk's educated knees at wrestlemania is tempting...

Well thats all I got..

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(although they’re not touching Mayweather-De La Hoya, sorry).

How are the two events even remotely related other than the fact they are being presented on pay per view?

When did Boxing become sports entertainment?

12:21 AM  
Anonymous tyson said...

Didn't see the show. Sounds Rushed and Uninteresting. I hope mania's better.

Does anything say Cena you'd be jobbing to Taker if we had one more guy to carry the ball more than Batista's pin?

I gotta agree. Pitting a historic first time ever boxing match and comparing it with the 23rd installment of an annual wrestling pay per view? Sounds Strange.

Who started this send Kenny down campaign? Somebody tryin to get close to Mickie James?

Its kinda sickening that Edge and Matt Hardy are on the same team. I guess it's been done before though, well Edge was always one to tag himself in. Christian was always better and has taken his game to the next level, while Edge is still out there to make goofy faces.

You definitely should not be considered one of the most charismatic wrestlers of all time if you don't sing on your own entrance music.

While on the subject, Randy Orton's fuckin sucks.

Somebody mentioned the anaconda vice, to me, it just comes across poorly on television and isn't the right finishing manuever against this kind of talent. Maybe in ROH where the guys are more agile, and most wrestle well, but in WWE it is much better to have an impact move.

My Wrestlemania 23 Wishlist
-MVP pins Benoit clean, takes the US title and then claims he and Derek Jeter aren't friends
-Kane and Khali have a 25 minute chain wrestling classic
-Melina and Ashley call off the beef and instead decide to engage in an Hot Lesbian Live Action Sex Show
-To be able to say holy shit at least twice during the ECW originals match
-Orton wins money in the bank, cashes it in immediately beats Cena, and then later...beats HBK taking back the spot that he should have had 2 years ago
-Lashley shaves Mr. McMahon bald. And then he shaves Stephanie for putting headlines in his past such as "Lashley beat The Dicks"
-Right when Undertaker is about to tombstone Batista, Mick Foley comes out plugging his book, Undertaker is rolled up Mick Foley tells Taker he's still pissed he threw him off the cell and if Taker wanted revenge he'd just have to follow him to ECW. Knowing full well nobody will ever show up in ECW Foley is safe and is granted the GM position where he hires Shane Douglas to do jobs he should have done 10 years ago

12:59 AM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

-MVP pins Benoit clean, takes the US title and then claims he and Derek Jeter aren't friends

This made me laugh pretty hard.

I'm going to be disappointed if the traditional WWE "guy who gets last laugh loses at the PPV" trend holds up, which will mean Cena retains...

2:52 AM  
Anonymous Sonny said...

Didnt Vince have a bruised Coxic that wouldn't allow him to wrestle Trump, but he could wrestle Lashley....even tho he didnt this was never mentioned again.....great job writers!

5:32 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

"How are the two events even remotely related other than the fact they are being presented on pay per view? When did Boxing become sports entertainment?"

I agree that boxing isn't part of the genre at all. I was just amused that Dave had a poll asking whether Randy/Cro Cop, De La Hoya/Mayweather or Mania would draw the most buys and everyone was saying Mania.

8:55 AM  
Anonymous TK said...

Im pretty sure the poll asked for worldwide buys, didn't it? Alvarez was saying Mania will definitely make the most worldwide; I'm inclined to agree.

8:07 AM  
Anonymous tyson said...

I dunno if thats interesting or disappointing. I'm gonna have to go with the latter. Why all of a sudden is WO covering Boxing? Does he even cover it in his newsletter?

8:10 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Poll was definitely worldwide. But De La Hoya-Mayweather will still win handily. Bryan predicted Mania would make the most worldwide buys over Randy/Cro Cop (or maybe it was Randy/Sylvia). In any event, Mayweather-De La Hoya definitely wasn't in that discussion.

I have no idea why WO is covering boxing right now. I would suspect it will end soon enough. It is not covered in the newsletter beyond buy rates and business trends that have relevance to wrestling and MMA.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous tyson said...

Wrestlemania 23 Over/Unders and Totals

I guess its fair to note Mike & The Mad Dog inspired this, as well as the 1300 times they said WWE was sponsoring the updates today. You'd think with all the times they said it, they would have said "who is promoting Wrestlemania 23 this sunday on pay per view", at least once.

(all match times are judged opening bell to end of match bell; totals are over under as well)

Batista vs. Undertaker
20 Minutes

HBK vs. Cena
34 minutes

Money in the Bank
26 minutes

Womens Match
11 minutes

US Title match
10 minutes

Hair Match (remember bell to bell)
18 minutes

ECW Match
20 minutes

Monsters Match (forget wishful thinking)
16 minutes

Totals (referring to the number of times these occur, over or under)
Tables Broken 7
Chair Shots 10
Ref Bumps 4
Run Ins 3
Conclusive Finishes 5 (Todd Martin's rules)
Nipple Slips 2
Title Changes 2
Beers Drank 7 (Steve Austin..on camera)
Beers Drank 2 (Sandman..on camera)
Unadvertised Matches 1
Beers Drank 12 (Yourself...7-11pm EST, dont drive if you hit the over..or if you push for that matter.....in fact if you come anywhere close to this number, dont get behind the wheel)

Tiebreaker
Winner of Money in the Bank
(Finaly;Orton;Edge;Jeff Hardy;Matt Hardy;CM Punk;Mr. Kennedy;King Booker)

Enjoy Wrestlemania, the show should be entertainment enough but if you're watching with friends here's a friendly competition.

4:30 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

The only matches there I'd go under for are Kane/Khali and the ECW 8-man. Adding up the minutes presented, it only comes out to two hours, and it's a four hour show. There'll probably only be about an hour of non-wrestling.

1:56 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Batista vs. Undertaker 20 Minutes

Under. Just barely.

HBK vs. Cena
34 minutes

Under. Again just barely.

Money in the Bank
26 minutes

Over.

Womens Match
11 minutes

Under for sure.

US Title match
10 minutes

Over. Way over.

Hair Match (remember bell to bell)
18 minutes

Over. They'll load it up with gimmicks.

ECW Match
20 minutes

Under.

Monsters Match (forget wishful thinking)
16 minutes

Under.

Tables Broken 7

Over

Chair Shots 10

Over

Ref Bumps 4

Over

Run Ins 3

Over

Conclusive Finishes 5 (Todd Martin's rules)

Under

Nipple Slips 2

Under

Title Changes 2

Under

Beers Drank 7 (Steve Austin..on camera)

Over

Beers Drank 2 (Sandman..on camera)

Under

Unadvertised Matches 1

Push

Beers Drank 12 (Yourself...7-11pm EST, dont drive if you hit the over..or if you push for that matter.....in fact if you come anywhere close to this number, dont get behind the wheel)

Under

Winner of Money in the Bank

Mr. Kennedy

10:46 AM  
Anonymous tyson said...

Batista vs. Undertaker
20 Minutes

Under (Damn it Batista, Taker's gettin' too old to carry a big MF'er like you.)

HBK vs. Cena
34 minutes

Under (Cena needs a mania match. HHH was always the one to be able to make guys. There was that Razor guy though.)

Money in the Bank
26 minutes

Over. (Better be)

Womens Match
11 minutes

Under (If they make it to 4 minutes without a botch they should throw another party for the cover.)

US Title match
10 minutes

Under (MVP Baby! Benoit is a jobber.)

Hair Match (remember bell to bell)
18 minutes

Over (They better be careful here, it will be hard to top what Cena and Umaga did at the Rumble. Can you lose your hair on a DQ?)

ECW Match
20 minutes

Under (How many minutes of fame is it?)

Monsters Match (forget wishful thinking)
16 minutes

Under (It'd be an over if you could count the entrances...you know what between the stare down times and the back and forth, I'll take the Over.)
Over

Totals

Tables Broken 7

Under (I got about half the guys in MITB goin' through, maybe one in ECW and an announcers spot for Lashley)

Chair Shots 10

Over (No Brainer)

Ref Bumps 4

Over (I mean..is it even a ref bump if it's not Earl Hebner?)

Run Ins 3

Under (Tricky spot here, I don't imagine them runnin' in too many guys. Besides the hair and the ECW.)

Conclusive Finishes 5 (Todd Martin's rules)

Under (Lock of the week)

Nipple Slips 2

Under (Ok, this is the lock of the week)

Title Changes 2

Over (This is fuckin' Wrestlemania. They've had 2 title changes on RAW alone in the last month and a half. MVP)

Beers Drank 7 (Steve Austin..on camera)

Over (He's earned every pop, every stunner, and every beer he gets from now until the day he can't step onto the second turnbuckle.)


Beers Drank 2 (Sandman..on camera)

Under (In the "that shoulda been me moment of the night")

Unadvertised Matches 1

Over (Taking the match times, skits, hall of fame spot, and interviews into consideration. I'll be surprised if they don't throw together a couple fillers)

Beers Drank 12 (Yourself)

Over Over Over(Three times over in the spirit of Andre)

Tiebreaker
Winner of Money in the Bank

Matt Hardy (Lost his girl, lost his spot, got fired, jobbed to Edge, buried on Smackdown, lost his #1 fan, and then tagged with Edge. 7 reasons, 7 wrestlers. He's earned it.)

Pretty sure about these odds.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

If they had any guts theyd buyout the Briscoes and put them in a match with London & Kendrick as the only tag team match on the show.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

Todd, do you watch impact?

How high was Lance Hoyt during that VKM promo? Wow. Looked like he was running back to his burning joint at the conclusion.

How do they screw up the oppurtunity to make Petey Williams? The destroyer is the most innovative move of the past decade. The x division title shouldn't leave his waist. Chris Sabin...really?

I did see they are starting to take it on the road, that will only lead to good things for them. There are alot of small venues up here outside of the Times Union Center to run, how scared are they of WWE? I guess we'll see.

Stars Made by TNA since the inception of the company:
Abyss
LAX (I'll give em LAX although they are considerably weaker without Konnan or Homocide)

That's not much progress for 5 years. Raven, either go all out with this serotonin deal or drop it, its out of hand. And people wanna rag WWE for not scouring the independants for talent? Eh..

7:17 PM  

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