Monday, June 04, 2007

Raw Report

Date: 06/04/07 from Tampa, FL.

The Big News: Vince was mad, and it resulted in John Cena having to defend his title against both Umaga and Great Khali.

Conclusive Finishes: 6 of 6. This made me happy.

Show Analysis:

I’m back to writing the Raw reports. I’d like to thank Justin Shapiro and Steve Khan for helping out with the reports over the past month. It was very much appreciated. With that said, let’s get to the show.

John Cena came out to start, and got one of his huge mixed reactions. There were more cheers than boos for him on this evening. Cena talked about loving the business, and said he was happy to tell Great Khali FU. He noted that now he has to deal with the draft. He said that if this were to be his last Raw, he wanted to let out one more time that the champ is here.

He didn’t get quite that far, as he was cut off by Vince McMahon. An angry Vince accused Cena of trying to embarrass him. Vince said that he won’t break. Cena responded that Vince must be tired and confused, because he was babbling like he had lost his mind. Vince said he hasn’t lost his mind, only his title, and Cena will lose his title too. He made Cena vs. Umaga vs. Great Khali for the title. This segment didn’t make much sense as it happened, but ended up fitting into the theme of the night that Vince was furious and lashing out.

Cryme Tyme and Candyce Mychelle defeated Johnny Nitro, Kenny Dykstra and Melina. Nitro and Dykstra worked over JTG. They did a cool double team spot where Dykstra used a sling shot to send JTG into a Nitro elbow. Dykstra then draped JTG over his knees and Nitro came over the ropes with an elbow drop. JTG made the tag to Shad, who gave a really high back body drop to Dykstra. He gave Nitro a running forearm and went for the cover, but Dykstra broke up the pin. Shad gorilla pressed Candice onto Melina, and Cryme Tyme hit the G9 on Nitro for the pin.

Santino Marella defeated Chris Masters. This match was set up when Maria and Santino were admiring Santino’s title backstage. Vince ordered Santino to the ring for a title match and slapped him. Santino missed a drop kick, and Masters took over with snake eyes and a leg drop. Santino retaliated with chops and forearms. Masters gave him the stun gun and went for the Masterlock, but Santino slipped out. Santino used la magistral shortly thereafter for the pin. This was a sloppy match with a dead crowd.

Backstage, Matt and Jeff Hardy were talking about how beat up they felt. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch congratulated them on retaining the titles and asked for a title shot when they are healed. Vince came in and made the match for later in the evening. Vince then saw Ric Flair and Torrie Wilson. Vince said he hates men hanging out with women half their age. Torrie noted the time Linda caught Vince and Torrie with Vince’s pants down to his ankles. Vince said, “You’ll be taking on Carlito.” Flair told Vince to bring Carlito on, but Vince said that he meant Torrie. Vince then made Flair vs. Orton. This segment seemingly went on forever.

Randy Orton beat Ric Flair. Orton hit a power slam and went for the RKO, but Flair escaped. Flair applied the figure four, but Orton got out. Orton came back with a back breaker, Garvin stomp, knee drop, and repeated punches in the corner. Orton hit a clothesline on the floor, and gave Flair a knee to the head. The referee checked on Flair, but allowed the contest to continue. Flair got back up, but Orton hit the RKO for the pin. Orton is doing a really good job with his new role as a sinister, cold-blooded assassin. I like that they are strongly pushing a normal looking person who is a well rounded performer in that role. It will give the character more longevity than assigning the role to really tall or really muscular guy who can’t work and is one dimensional.

Carlito pinned Torrie Wilson. Carlito told Torrie to leave and get counted out. He said he wouldn’t do anything to her. The referee rang the bell, and Torrie turned and started to leave. Of course, Carlito grabbed her from behind and gave her the back cracker for the pin.

Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch won the tag titles from Matt and Jeff Hardy. They did mostly clean mat wrestling early. Matt and Jeff took over on the rednecks, and Jeff gave Murdoch a pescado. Jeff sold his knee, and tagged Matt. Cade and Murdoch worked over Matt’s back briefly. Matt tagged Jeff, but Jeff was crotched on the top rope. Matt hit a side effect on Cade, and Jeff recovered to go for the swanton. Jeff missed, and Cade covered him for the pin. Jeff got his foot on the ropes, but Murdoch pushed it off.

Cade and Murdoch celebrated after the match. Matt started to ask about the foot on the ropes, when Cade and Murdoch jumped the Hardyz. They then hit the Hardyz with the title belts. I really enjoyed this program, and it’s kind of sad to see the payoff. I give WWE credit for turning Cade and Murdoch back without making Matt and Jeff look like idiots. I figured it would be hard to turn the rednecks without making the Hardyz look stupid for trusting them in the first place, but this segment did not have that effect.

Vince backstage told Coach that he was getting an ominous feeling. Coach went out and said that next week will be Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night. Now I’m starting to get an ominous feeling.

John Cena retained his title in a triple threat match over Great Khali and Umaga. Khali gave Cena a big boot and sent him into the steps. Umaga went to throw the steps at Cena, but hit Khali instead. Umaga gave Cena a clothesline, but missed a sit down splash. Cena attempted a body slam but couldn’t get Umaga up. Khali returned to the ring and squared off with Umaga. They traded punches, until Khali gave him a kick. Khali then used a leg drop on Cena.

Umaga attacked Khali, and Khali started to choke Umaga. Umaga gave Khali the Samoan spike. Umaga was knocked out of the ring and Cena gave Khali the FU for the pin. This was smart booking. I’m glad they put Cena over Khali strong at both PPVs, because he offers so much more as a performer. But the downside of that plan is that fewer fans order PPVs. Thus, they made sure all the fans saw Cena beat Khali one more time with the FU on TV. That was a wise move. I was down on the Khali push because I thought they had longer term plans for him, but I totally rescind that criticism. Pushing Khali for a few weeks with the express purpose of having him put over Cena strong was a good idea.

Final Thoughts:

The booking of this show was strong. Obviously the talent roster on Raw is a little bit thin, but that will be addressed for sure at next week’s draft. As a show kind of in limbo, this was effective. I could understand what they were doing with just about every segment this week, even if they weren’t universally exciting.

I’ve criticized the drafts in the past, but I’m fine with it this year. The brands are already so intermingled that you’re not losing much as far as a perceived brand divide. Plus, with three world titles, it’s not like those titles really symbolize anything, so flipping around the roster doesn’t do any damage there either. It will freshen up the rosters and that makes it a positive.

The one negative on this show was it was pretty Vince heavy. I know some people find him to be a great performer, but I’d rather he be off TV altogether than pushed as hard as he is. His character is so stale, and that time would be better spent on someone younger that can wrestle. I’ve seen Vince do this angry routine where he lashes out at performers hundreds if not thousands of times in the past decade. It’s totally played out, and I never need to see it again in my entire life. Hopefully they are writing him off TV next week.


Anonymous Patrick said...

welcome back, welcome back...

12:59 AM  
Anonymous tk said...

good to read your work again.

I’ve seen Vince do this angry routine where he lashes out at performers hundreds if not thousands of times in the past decade. It’s totally played out, and I never need to see it again in my entire life.


1:58 AM  
Anonymous the masterbater said...

Just don't understand why give the titles to Cade and Murdock?? WHY NOT THE WORLDS GREATEST TAG TEAM???
Just don't understand wrestling anymore.

6:16 AM  
Blogger nevs999 said...

To say the show was a little Vince heavy is an understatement. I think I would rather watch Khali vs. Mark Henry on a loop for hours and hours.

Why can't they chain Vince to the Gorilla position and leave him there?

- Matt in Anchorage

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Steve Khan said...

I agree with you on tonight's show. Besides the opening segment, I was fine with Vince's act tonight. I am tired of him though, and it doesn't seem like he's going anywhere soon. I was looking forward to the draft next week, and then the announcement of Vince Appreciation day almost ruined it. My guess is Lashley gets drafted to RAW, ruining Vince's night.

I thought it was bad placement using Carlito/Torrie right after Flair/Orton, since its the same dastardly heel stuff (not to mention the Cade/Murdoch heel turned followed that).

Its funny that Vince McMahon the character punished the Hardys by making them work just 24 hours after the Ladder Match, when in reality they must be banged up legit. Even the WGTT had to work on Heat.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just roll my eyes now when Vince goes into the "Mr. McMahon" mode. He is what Mark Cuban is to the Mavericks. They just don't know how to step back and let somebody else take the limelight.

As for the main event, I have to say that was a prety good match considering you had the Great Khali involved. It was very well done with a big finish.

I am looking forward to the change coming at the next Raw. With wrestlers moving to new brands we can get some new storylines...hopefully.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Dave S. said...

Hey Todd, it's great to have you back. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

As for Raw, I thought it was decent. Cade and Murdoch have really come into their own lately. I never liked them before, but their performance in this whole angle with the Hardys has been excellent.

Raw is in dire need of this upcoming draft. The list of main eventers currently on Raw reads: Cena, Great Khali, Umaga. That is an embarassment. I'm thinking that MVP and Santino Marella switch shows, thereby giving MVP the opportunity to become a huge star on the flagship show. I think CM Punk is coming to Raw also, for the same reason. I also have a bad feeling that Mark Henry and/or Snitsky is going to come to Raw to feud with Cena, since he seems to feud exclusively with gigantic monsters now.

2:56 PM  

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