Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Raw Report

Date: 09/24/07 from Milwaukee, WI.

The Big News: Hornswoggle and Vince McMahon are on good terms, which spells trouble for a number of heels on the roster.

Conclusive Finishes: 3 of 5.

Show Analysis:

Coach came to the ring to start the show. He said Randy Orton was suspended indefinitely for what he did last week. Vince McMahon joined Coach, and said that everyone should respect him and Coach for their authority. He said that he would embarrass HHH, and announced HHH vs. Carlito and Vince in a cage. Vince guaranteed victory.

Vince then said he owed Hornswoggle an apology. Hornswoggle came out. Vince said he didn’t mean the negative things he said last week. He just wanted to test Hornswoggle to see if he was about love rather than money. Vince wanted to know if Hornswoggle loves him. Hornswoggle said he loves Vince. Vince said he loves Hornswoggle. They hugged. Vince brought out Melina, who said she thinks Hornswoggle is cute. She called him Horny, and Horny jumped on top of her and they rolled around.

John Cena came out and tried to attack Coach. Vince announced that the main event of the show would be a championship surrender ceremony. Coach would get to decide if Cena kept the world title. Any segment where your world title rests on the whim of a heel GM is a strong one. I hope Dana builds UFC 77 around whether he will strip Rampage of his title and give it back to Chuck.

Hardcore Holly defeated Cody Rhodes. This was a fine start to a fine feud to help get Cody over. Holly said Cody should be in a boy band, and he’ll have to earn his respect. Holly beat him up with punches and chops. Cody came back with a side Russian leg sweep and drop kick, but missed a springboard crossbody. Holly pinned him clean with the Alabama slam. I would normally say you should protect a rising star, but certainly you can make an exception for a star the level of Sparky Plugg. Particularly given his track record for grooming rising young talent.

Randy Orton in a recorded segment said that John Cena is a phony. He said Cena got disqualified on purpose, to get out of defending his title. Orton said he enjoyed beating up Cena’s father, and that he’s going to take the title. Ron Simmons beat Santino via count out. Santino worked over Simmons. Simmons started to make a comeback, but Santino walked off. Great finish.

Melina and Jillian had a conversation backstage in front of the camera. Melina let in Jillian on a secret. She made an agreement with Coach that if she dated Hornswoggle, she would get a women’s title shot. Melina is disgusted by Hornswoggle. They did a comedy vignette with Highlanders and Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch. Highlanders lifted up their kilts. I haven’t laughed that hard since Epic Movie.

Vince McMahon and Carlito beat Triple H in a cage match. Carlito would fight HHH while Vince would try to escape. HHH would then fight off Carlito and catch Vince. HHH went for the pedigree on Vince but Carlito gave him the back stabber. HHH quickly recovered and stopped Vince from escaped. HHH and Vince ended up fighting at the top of the cage. Carlito distracted HHH and Vince escaped. They emphasized that this was HHH’s first loss since he returned.

That sent a real message. You’ve got all these idiots on the internet complaining that HHH doesn’t put anyone over, and that he buries everyone around him. Well, shows what they know. HHH showed he’s a team player by putting someone over. And not just anyone – he put over a guy that has real potential as a main event wrestler and that really needed the help. Way to do the right thing, Hunter.

But let’s not get carried away. This is still Triple H. So after Vince escaped, HHH turned around and went after that terrified jobber Carlito. He rammed him into the cage repeatedly, bloodied him up, and laid him out with a pedigree on a chair. It’s a good thing they did this, because they would be risking HHH’s tremendous drawing power if someone got the best of him for longer than a minute and a half.

Brian Kendrick and Paul London beat Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch via DQ. Kendrick hit sliced bread number two, but the Highlanders ran in and attacked Cade and Murdoch. Another great finish. Highlanders are heels now, and feel getting destroyed by Snitsky in seconds qualifies them for a tag title shot. Which, come to think of it, does. The tag team division’s really heating up. Maybe they can fight HHH six on one next week.

Melina backstage was in the shower. Horny was also there, but she didn’t realize it. When she figured it out, she screamed and ran off in her towel. Horny chased her around and pulled off her towel. Vince was leaving when HHH approached him. HHH challenged him to a one on one match on Raw next week. Vince agreed.

Shelton Benjamin and Beth Phoenix beat Jeff Hardy and Candice Michelle. Jeff came off the second rope, but got caught with a Shelton power bomb. Jeff eventually made the hot tag to Candice. Candice used a drop kick, huracanrana and running elbow. However, Beth caught her with the fisherman buster for the clean pin. The best part of this was that they announced Candice as being from Milwaukee before she jobbed out. That way, the next time they return to Milwaukee, Beth will be a much bigger star for defeating the home town hero in her hometown.

The finale of the show was the Coach/Cena segment. Coach backstage said Orton’s indefinite suspension was actually just for one day, and he wish had done that to Cena’s father. Cena came out, and Coach antagonized him. Coach wanted Cena to beg to keep his title, but Cena wouldn’t do it. Lillian then announced that Mr. McMahon said that Cena wouldn’t be stripped of the title, and he would be wrestling Coach in a tables match. Cena put Coach in the STFU and gave him the FU through the table. Hornswoggle McMahon came out to close the show and smiled at Cena.

Final Thoughts:

A fine show. Great booking. Great comedy. Great wrestling. Best of all was the way they created new stars to help fill out the roster. Bravo, WWE.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todd, I do hope you were being sarcastic. I thought that was the worst episode of Raw I've ever seen. I e-mailed Dave the following, and I think it fits very well here:

I think it's wonderful that WWE and TNA came to some sort of talent sharing agreement. WWE sends its midcarders to Orlando and TNA sends Russo to book Raw.

In all seriousness, Monday's episode might have been the worst wrestling show since the Russo-era WCW broadcasts. Nothing made sense; there was no build to No Mercy, unless you think an unconvincing heel promo from Randy Orton and HHH's lacking-in-heat cage match and subsequent burial of Carlito paved the way for the casual viewer to waste $39.95.

It's been said often that Vince has lost his mind. And while that may be, I think that without a viable competitor, he has lost something even more valuable: His touch and drive to produce a good wrestling show.

Denis Gorman

6:35 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

I do hope you were being sarcastic.

I think if there's any doubt you might want to take your sarcasm detector in to the shop. I haven't seen it laid on that thick in a long time.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

I don't think there's any doubt Todd was being sarcastic. Do you really think he's hoping that Dana White bases the next UFC on the storyline of whether or not he's going to strip Quinton Jackson of the light heavyweight title and give it back to former champion Chuck Liddell?

And, yes, Todd, that was a horrible show. The fact that I still keep on watching (albeit skimming much of it on DVR) shows the incredible power of habit, as any rational analysis would lead me to the conclusion that there are much more entertaining ways to spend my time.

I think it's time to put the "Vince is genius" canard to rest. He happened to be based out of the media center of the country and he struck gold with Hulk Hogan and then later Steve Austin and The Rock, three guys with strong personalities who came up with their own stuff. Whenever Vince has a stronger hand in the material, the product tends to suffer. The guy clearly is embarrassed that he can only succeed at wrestling, so he keeps trying to branch out with side projects and turn his wrestling show into a soap/comedy/drama/variety show. His actions in the current drug situation show he's a pretty vile human being on top of it.

And yet I'll be right there watching Raw next Monday like an idiot.

8:39 PM  
Blogger nevs999 said...

"And yet I'll be right there watching Raw next Monday like an idiot."

Me too, unfortunately. All praise to the DVR's fast-forwarding power. What would I do without it?

- Matt in Anchorage

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Charlie Kane said...

It's nice to see that you're finally being positive about the show.
Christ on a bike...why, except for the paycheck and the book plug, would Jericho even bother to come back ( well, I guess those are solid reasons..why do I bother to keep going back to work? It's done fuck-all for my book sales, though...)to a show that will have absolutely nothing for him to do?
I mean, besides taking a pedigree.
This show is beyond help. My best advice to everyone here is to read a book, write, paint, sculpt, work on your car, anything that you truly enjoy doing or have always wanted to do..life is way too short for this stuff. I see nothing on the horizon here beyond midgets, strippers, and a level of incompetency on par with WCW 2000. Who's your pick to play the KISS Demon? Hell, it'll likely be Jericho if he gets more cheers than HHH. What a debacle. Joyless.

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Phil Lowe said...

Hey Todd,

Don't worry, at least there's genuine competition on the horizon with Impact going to two hours. I'm so pleased we'll all have the chance to see some well thought out booking, some great wrestling involving some of today's most talented young stars, and some great comedy thrown in there also.


10:53 PM  
Blogger Bobcat said...

I have never ... EVER! laughed that hard at one of your recaps.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Bobcat said...

Oh, by the way, I followed Charlie Kane's advice and stopped watching WWE some time ago. I just read Todd's recaps now. Much more satisfying.

8:08 AM  

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