Monday, October 08, 2007

Raw Report

Date: 10/08/07 from Grand Rapids, MI.

The Big News: HBK is back.

Show Analysis:

Vince McMahon came out to start the show. He was pleased with Randy Orton’s title win, and demanded that all the Raw superstars come out later to congratulate Orton. He said Orton’s next title defense would be at Cyber Sunday. Triple H joined Vince. He said that he wanted to invoke his rematch clause with Orton immediately. Vince made Triple H vs. Orton and Umaga in a handicap match instead. This was fine.

Candice Michelle, Maria and Mickie James beat Beth Phoenix, Melina and Jillian Hall. The heels worked over Mickie’s leg, including a Melina stump puller. Mickie tagged Candice, who came in with clotheslines. She defeated Jillian with a northern lights suplex and a sloppy victory roll. The match was short but inoffensive.

William Regal was redecorating his offense. He had pictures of the Queen, George Michael, and Elton John. Coach made an obvious joke in response, which angered Regal. The British are clearly more comfortable with their sexuality, as evidenced by Regal’s haircut. Vince came in and told Regal to continue monitoring Hornswoggle. Regal told Coach to do that, but Hornswoggle was already gone.

Val Venis was scheduled to wrestle Santino Marella. However, Santino said he wouldn’t be wrestling because he had another engagement. He said that there would be a substitute, Snitsky. Snitsky destroyed Venis and pinned him with a pump handle slam. This kind of takes the steam off the hot Venis-Marella program.

John Cena appeared in a video interview. He said his focus is on getting better and returning. When asked if he wanted to get back his title, he instead plugged Orton having to shake the hands of other superstars in the Raw main event. That was so stupid. It’s just the epitome of WWE’s short sighted approach. Downplay what could actually mean something in the long term to plug a very short term angle that isn’t going to be benefited at all by that plug anyway.

Triple H defeated Umaga and Randy Orton via DQ. Orton appears to have the same belt, only it no longer spins. HHH fought off both heels early, but Umaga sent him into the barricade. Orton and Umaga double teamed HHH, who bled. Orton hit a drop kick and Umaga a Samoan drop. HHH came back with a face buster and went for the pedigree on Orton. Umaga broke that up, but HHH sent Umaga out of the ring and gave Orton a spine buster.

HHH went for the pedigree again, but Umaga realized HHH was too much them, and attacked him with a chair. With the weapon, the heels were finally able to even the odds. Orton gave HHH the RKO, and Umaga a splash off the top and the Samoan spike. HHH was left badly beaten, and he struggled to make it backstage. Vince told him he would still have to shake Orton’s hand at the end of the show.

Highlanders beat Paul London and Brian Kendrick. London and Kendrick hit simultaneous planchas. The Highlanders worked over London briefly. He made the tag to Kendrick, and the faces made a quick comeback. Robbie pinned Kendrick with his feet on the ropes. Highlanders aren’t very good in the ring, even with such talented opponents.

Jeff Hardy beat Mr. Kennedy. Jeff hit an inverted atomic drop and leg drop early, but missed a crossbody off the top to the floor. Kennedy worked on Hardy’s knee with a half crab and chop block. Jeff came back with a side Russian leg sweep and brainbuster, but missed the swanton. Kennedy went for the pin, but Jeff rolled him over for the victory. This was a good match, albeit sloppy at times. Backstage, Hornswoggle turned up. He had been sleeping in a trunk, and attacked Coach with a cane.

The main event saw the wrestlers standing on the stage. Vince McMahon was in the ring, and he brought out Randy Orton. Orton put himself over. Vince then demanded HHH come out to shake Orton’s hand. He told Orton to go get HHH. Orton started up the ramp when Shawn Michaels made his entrance. He attacked Orton and laid him out with sweet chin music.

Final Thoughts:

This was the best edition of Raw in a while. There was very little nonsense, the final segment provided a fun surprise, and there was some good wrestling on the card.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was also a segment were Lilian sang her single, but then Santino came out to sing a song about how he'll say "NO NO NO" to seeing The Condemned, complete with subtitles at the bottom.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

It is frustrating, though, that two of WWE's most common crappy running trends continued: handicap matches that nobody buys as a handicap and wrestlers (oops, superstars) being able to change their match on a whim.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Yeah, I didn't feel like giving a plug to Lillian's CD, which was the only point of that segment.

12:10 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Good review although I was hoping for some thoughts on no mercy. It really illustrates the direction and lack of depth up top on Raw right now when HHH has to wrestle in 3 matches and Randy Orton has to wrestle in two.

1:11 AM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

The thing with No Mercy is that there were many people left off the card, and they had plenty of room to add several matches. The show only featured 17 people in matches, which included a six man tag. Assuming a normal card of 7-8 matches, if they were all only singles matches you'd have almost as many. That's pretty bad. Fact is, there were a total of eight segments and matches combined, IIRC, that featured our good buddy 'Aitch.

That said, it's still very true that there's a lack of direction and depth both at the top of Raw and throughout the company in general.

1:47 AM  
Blogger nevs999 said...

How close are we to "enjoying" a two-hour episode of Raw consisting only of Vince and HHH staring at each other?

I mean these guys are so talented, so fresh and fun to watch, why not?

- Matt in Anchorage

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Charlie Kane said...

I also thought the show was fine, and it helped that I was switching back and forth between the Yankees game and Raw ( ditto on yer Yankee comment in the other post, although I don't 'hate' them, I find them tiresome after all these years ). HBK's return was a surprise, and can only help, if, and this is a big IF, they can find it in their hearts to lay off the DX bullshit. I loved McMahon's reaction at the end...but, I must say, no matter how terrific Michaels is, it still reflects on the poor job that WWE has done in building up talent in that, Raw is seriously counting on 40-ish, injury-wracked men to carry the business for them ( I'm also thinking of Hunter, and Undertaker) because there are so few guys otherwise to pick up the slack ( or, at least, who are allowed to pick it up ). Here's a bit of nitpicking for you...why did they linger for so long on Hunter being laid out ( even after the break, I mean, okay, sell the beating, but...)? Also, and I know the answer, but isn't it funny to hear Ross/Lawler acting so appalled when Umaga beat down HHH like he did? I mean, didn't Hunter just use a sledgehammer on this guy about a month ago? I realize it's all part of the shtick, but it's still amusing to me. I also agree that Cena just shrugging and grinning in his promo was foolish.. shouldn't he be a bit pissed off? I mean, he's gonna be out for possibly a year. Are they selling this as Orton's handiwork or not? Overall, I thought that the show was pretty good, they're not over doing the Hornswoggle stuff, the Diva Search has been relegated to the internet, and while the very real specter of 75 minute DX 'comedy' segments loom in the near future, I think the title change, and Cena's enforced layoff, can only be of help in the end. They just really need to get it across to Orton that it's his turn to run with the ball, so don't fuck it up this time. They need a heel champ who actually will beat people clean on occasion. I'm a huge Edge fan, but I don't think they ever put him over anybody without some kind of mischievous circumstances, which was one reason I think that people didn't always take him seriously.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous tyson kaethler said...

WTF, i read that Raw's rating was a 2.8. I'm really hoping that's some glitch.. I know there was a cowboys game and some other crap, but cmon... 2.8?? What're your thoughts on the rating, Todd?

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Charlie Kane said...

Yes, I just checked on that rating myself. Hmm...could it be that Cena's value is even greater than people thought? Or, was it due to both a football and a baseball game going on at the same time? There are a lot of Cowboys and Yankees fans in this country. Methinks Paul Levesque is pointing at these numbers and saying, 'I told you, Dad. Orton can't carry the show. Put the belt on me NOW.'

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

On one hand, the show wasn't too bad, and certainly better in many ways than recent shows.

On the other hand, the announced main event of the show was the entire roster shaking hands with Randy Orton. Now, seriously, who is going to stay tuned for that?

I'm addicted to wrestling, and I watch Raw on DVR, so I got through the whole show (skipping much of it in the process), but if I were watching it live and had the least bit of casual fan in me, there's no way I would have watched to the end just to see a massive handshaking ceremony. Now, granted, everyone knew something was up, but I still think the original premise should have been something to hold our interest.

The scary thing about the 2.8 rating is it may be the WWE has driven off all but its hardcore fanbase plus a contingent of Cena fans. The hardcore fanbase is dwindling, and the Cena fans have just left the building. It might be a long time before they see a 4.0 again, and the next 2.5 might not be due to a calculation error.

10:40 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

An announced main event like that is why I'm happy I get free tickets from working for a radio station.

The 2.8 was probably about 95% due to MNF + ALDS.

11:28 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

As far as the rating goes, I think you can attribute some of that to the competition and some to WWE not producing stuff that people are interested in. They're in a tough predicament. They've done a poor job developing stars which leaves a thin roster. That forces them to hotshot silly angles and focus on tired acts for short term ratings, while at the same time hurting long term ratings.

I liked Raw better than most shows in the recent past, but that doesn't mean I thought it was particularly compelling TV. The low rating isn't a surprise to me.

There aren't any easy answers either. They need to look at it long term and build things over the long haul is the simplest answer, but that's a macro philosophy, nothing that's going to get at short term trends.

2:00 AM  

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