Monday, July 09, 2007

Raw Report

Date: 07/09/07 from Lafayette, LA.

The Big News: Great American Bash is coming up and this show was focused on getting you to care about the matches on that show.

Conclusive Finishes: 6 of 8. This show was just about ideal as far as emphasizing match results. The winners won very emphatically in just about every match, telling the fans that they are to be taken seriously. Plus, the two matches that had unclean finishes were obvious disqualifications, where nothing was resolved. That is much more preferable than those finishes where someone interferes or distracts and there is a screwy pinfall that makes pins seem inconsequential in general.

Show Analysis:

The show started with Lashley beating King Booker via disqualification. The crowd was dead for this match, which isn’t a good sign. It was a total squash until the finish. Lashley destroyed Booker with a power slam, body slam and the dominator slam. Booker kicked out. Booker followed with a delayed vertical suplex, at which point Mr. Kennedy ran in for the DQ. Given the timing of the segment, I think Kennedy might have missed his cue to break up the pin after the dominator.

The heels beat down Lashley until Coach came out. He said that Kennedy and Booker would wrestle Lashley and a partner of his choosing in the main event. Coach and William Regal had a discussion backstage. Coach thanked Regal for helping him out last week. Regal gave Coach a couple backhanded compliments, and Coach responded by making Regal vs. Sandman.

Umaga beat Santino Marella. This was another basic squash, only without the run-in finish. Umaga just basically beat Marella down for most of the match. He won with a thrust kick, running butt drop and Samoan spike. Maria tended to Santino after the match. Backstage shortly thereafter, Maria consoled Santino and suggested they go out. Santino didn’t want to go out because people would make fun of him, so he suggested she come back to his hotel room.

Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch beat the Highlanders in another match that was pretty close to a squash. The rednecks worked over Rory, who eventually made the tag to Robbie. Robbie was on the offensive only briefly, before he got caught with the high low for the win. This was followed by Snitsky beating Super Crazy in another squash with the pump handle slam. WWE is indeed biased to entertainers, and Gene Snitsky is entertainment.

Dusty Rhodes came out and called out Randy Orton for disrespecting him. They got into an argument, and Orton challenged Dusty at his own reaction. I thought for a minute they were setting up a bunkhouse stampede, but he meant the Great American Bash. Dusty said he would wrestle Orton in a Texas bullrope match, and Orton accepted. Orton said that Cody should bring a broom to sweep up what’s left of Dusty after the match. Cody came down to the ring and slapped Orton in response.

Paul London beat Shelton Benjamin. Earlier in the show, Charlie Haas spoke with Benjamin backstage. Haas noted it was Benjamin’s birthday, but made fun of him for kissing Booker’s hand. Benjamin said if he lost his match, he would kiss Haas on the lips. London of course would then beat Benjamin in a short match following a huracanrana and a rollup. They went backstage a segment later, and Haas said that Benjamin wouldn’t have to kiss him on the lips but would have to kiss his hand. Benjamin was furious, but Haas said he was only joking and they hugged. Mr. Kennedy jumped Super Crazy backstage for what happened last week.

Candice Michelle and Mickie James beat Jillian Hall and the returning Beth Phoenix. Prior to the match, Melina said she would invoke her rematch clause at the Great American Bash. They went back to the unresolved storyline of Mickie and Beth having some sort of past. The heels briefly worked over Mickie, who tagged Candice. Candice hit a side Russian leg sweep on Jillian, but Jillian retaliated with a side slam. Candice then utilized a backslide for the pin. All three heels jumped Candice after the match.

William Regal beat Sandman via DQ. The crowd was really into Sandman, which was funny because it was a pretty dead crowd in general. Sandman quickly ended up caning Carlito and Regal for the disqualification. They then aired a really nice and effective video package on Lashley, who still needs charisma enhancement surgery. John Cena appeared on video from the Larry King Show. They completely no sold why Cena was there. Cena said he will address Lashley next week.

Jeff Hardy and Bobby Lashley beat Mr. Kennedy and King Booker. The heels worked over Hardy briefly. Lashley tagged in and threw Kennedy around. He won with the torture rack drop and spear. They put over Lashley huge here, and this is exactly the way to build up a title challenger even if I have my reservations with the choice as expressed last week.

Final Thoughts:

I really liked this show. It reminded me of wrestling when I was a kid. You had basic matches, very little nonsense, and the show was focused on getting you excited about upcoming pay-per-view matches. I’m not sure you can do such a basic show every week because you need some sizzle, but if this is the standard you’ll get no complaints from me.

The one suggestion that I would have for this sort of show is to add post-match interviews. That allows the wrestlers to talk about how good they are, explain who they have a problem with, and articulate their long term goals. I don’t mean a scripted WWE promo – I mean an extemporaneous 30 seconds to a minute with an interviewer where the wrestler just cuts a basic promo building a match. I think that short little hard sell after the match was frequently the most important part of the build, and would be a valuable addition to this kind of show.


Anonymous mean dean said...

It reminded me of wrestling when I was a kid. You had basic matches, very little nonsense, and the show was focused on getting you excited about upcoming pay-per-view matches. I’m not sure you can do such a basic show every week because you need some sizzle, but if this is the standard you’ll get no complaints from me.

It kind of makes you wonder - it's been SO LONG since we've seen anything resembling this, is it possible the Benoit incident happening smack in the middle of the Mr. McMahon angle woke Vince up a little?

11:44 PM  
Anonymous kaethler said...

is it possible the Benoit incident happening smack in the middle of the Mr. McMahon angle woke Vince up a little?

no.. it wont last, just like anything awesome in WWE.

BTW, i also found it funny how much of a response Sandman got. I mean, that match he just got his ass (seemingly) stiffed by Regal, then he hit some cane shots. it could only logically be old school ECW fans cheering for him. But when he smashed the first beer on his head, that little girl was right behind him (she got splashed with beer LOL), and she was cheering when he did it. Man, she was like 5 to 8 years old tops. She has no fucking idea who Sandman is. Which brings me to believe the casual audience, whether they know Sandman's past or not, enjoy the character as they see it now. That further leads me to believe that Sandman's move to Raw might have some potential and meaning down the road. Or rather, it COULD have potential, if WWE takes advantage of it. Honestly, Sandman isnt a great grappler or anything, but for christ sakes, if he's pushed, i guarantee you the fans will rally behind him similar to the way they did Steve Austin in late 1997.

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't understand how the main event was going to be John Cena and Bobby Lashley vs King Booker and Kennedy yet they had Lashley and King Booker open up the show?

Anybody notice Booker's swing and a miss on Lashley? It's been a while since I have seen someone miss by that much.

As for Santino "Boris Alexiev" Morella, talk about booking him to fail. Why would they put him in a program with a guy so much bigger than him? This silly program with Maria won't last long and neither will he. It's a waste using Morella, Maria and Umaga for that matter in this way. Umaga is ready to be a huge star. He's got the whole package and doesn't need to say a word.

Check out how he was booked in OVW. Now this is the way to book a guy to his strength.

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cody looks more like Rich Frankil's kid.

5:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


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7:19 PM  

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