Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Raw Report

Date: 12/03/07 from Charleston, SC.

The Big News: Next week Raw is three hours. Hopefully they find a better way to fill the time than this week’s two hour show.

Show Analysis:

Chris Jericho came out to start the show. He said he had to do something different to earn a title shot, so he tried to infuriate Randy Orton. Here, I thought the whole idea was you earn a title shot by winning matches. Jericho said he manipulated Orton, and after the show Orton agreed to defend his title at Armageddon. Jericho said he would win the title.

This brought out Randy Orton. Orton pointed out that Jericho hasn’t beaten anyone for two years, while Orton has beaten all the best. Jericho said that past history doesn’t matter and he’ll take the title. William Regal then joined them. He said that each would get to pick the other’s Raw opponent. Orton picked Umaga and Jericho picked Shawn Michaels.

Beth Phoenix and Melina defeated Mickie James and Maria. Mickie went after Beth with punches early. Mickie went to the top rope, but was knocked down. Beth then hit a spinning power slam and fisherwoman buster to pin Mickie clean. This was short, but crisper than most women’s matches. They have done a good job building Beth.

Shawn Michaels did a promo where he said sweet chin music would be legal against Randy Orton. Mr. Kennedy appeared on a monitor, and said Michaels needs to worry about him. Kennedy promised a blast from the past.

Mr. Kennedy came to the ring and said he wanted to take a look at Michaels’ career. He introduced a fake Marty Jannetty, fake Razor Ramon (not Rick Bogner), fake Diesel (not Kane) and fake Michaels (not Michaels in the Montreal dressing room). Kennedy had one funny line, where he said to Razor, “Hey, thanks for coming.”

Kennedy and the imposters insulted Michaels. Michaels came out and laid out three of the fakes. Fake Shawn left. This segment was atrocious. Just a complete and total abomination. None of the imposters were funny. It didn’t generate heat towards Kennedy. It was just a stupid, boring waste of time.

They announced that next week Hulk Hogan, Trish Stratus, Mick Foley, Eric Bischoff and Steve Austin will appear. Plus, there will be a McMahon family portrait with Vince, Stephanie, Shane, Linda and Hornswoggle. Also, Vince McMahon will announce the biggest star in Raw history, presumably himself.

Vince McMahon told Hornswoggle that he would wrestle Carlito and Coach in a no-DQ handicap match. Vince left the room and Hornswoggle made a phone call from Vince’s cell phone. Triple H asked William Regal about his match with Jeff Hardy. Regal said the winner would receive a title shot at the Royal Rumble. So it looks like the Jericho program isn’t lasting long.

Chris Jericho beat Umaga via DQ. Umaga threw Jericho over the top rope, and applied a nerve hold. Jericho came back with punches, chops, an enzuigiri, a bulldog, the lionsault and the code breaker. At that point, Randy Orton ran in for the DQ and gave Jericho the RKO. I’ve long hated these gutless non-finishes that make match results feel insignificant. And given a title is supposed to symbolize the best wrestler, title challengers need to win matches if the title match is to signify anything.

Carlito and Coach were set to face Hornswoggle, but Hornswoggle said he hired protection. It was Ron Simmons and JBL as the APA. This was a fun surprise. Simmons gave Carlito a spine buster. JBL gave Coach the clothesline from hell and Hornswoggle hit the frog splash for the pin. After the match, JBL plugged all of his stuff before Simmons finally grabbed the mic and said damn.

Jeff Hardy beat Snitsky. Snitsky before the match said he’d inflict pain because pain gives him pleasure. God does this guy suck. The crowd was dead for the match. Jeff hit the whisper in the wind and the swanton for the pin. Snitsky gave Jeff a high knee after the match and grabbed a chair. HHH made the save with the sledgehammer. HHH helped up Jeff but had some words for him.

Randy Orton beat Shawn Michaels via count out, apparently. Michaels took about five minutes to figure out how to apply an ankle lock. Michaels went for sweet chin music on the outside, but hit the timekeeper. That was a cool spot, reminiscent of WrestleMania XII. Orton used a low blow and DDT. Michaels hit an inverted atomic drop and elbow off the top. He was going for sweet chin music when Mr. Kennedy came out.

Michaels hit a pescado to Kennedy, and they brawled on the outside. For some reason, Kennedy running out and attacking Michaels was fine since Michaels tried to cut him off. Thus, there was no DQ and instead Michaels was counted out. This had a finish that was both crappy and non-sensical. Jericho then attacked Orton.

The show concluded with Stephanie McMahon arriving. She was concerned that Vince invited all these people who dislike him to Raw next week. She said Vince gets beat up all the time on Raw, and was concerned it would happen again. She told Vince not to come to Raw next week. Vince blew her off.

Final Thoughts:

The streak of Raw shows I really liked ended at one. The Ric Flair angle was completely ignored. It felt like everyone was running in place, with really bad finishes. The Mr. Kennedy segment was unbelievably bad. WWE could correct a lot of their booking problems by thinking long and hard about what a championship means, and what they would do differently if their top goal was to make the championship feel as important as possible.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you hear Jim Ross say in the Hardy match something to the effect of, (and I'm paraphrasing) "Hardy hit Whisper in the Wind last week, I know what that move is" a reference to last week's Raw report where you wrote, "Jeff hit the whisper in the wind on Umaga, which Jim Ross for the second straight week called the twist of fate for whatever reason."

Thought that was somewhat interesting.

8:24 AM  
Blogger jcj said...

I similarly liked the "thanks for coming" line.

And that's it.

I do however have Kobashi's return match downloaded and that makes up for the sadness that is most WWE.

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please explain the "thanks for coming" line.

9:34 AM  
Blogger nevs999 said...

Once again Todd, you’ve crystallized my thoughts eloquently.

Kennedy’s “thanks for coming” line, mocking Nash, Hall, Jannetty & Michaels’ career and references to Vince’s emenies of the past – here’s what I don’t get: If we presume the majority of the “E’s” fans aren’t in tune with Todd’s reports and/or Internet sites (i.e history) or are in junior high, then who is it the writers think they’re connecting with?

You figure the live crowd is dead for most of a show like last night’s because the show continually builds around ancient WWF/WWE history, which few people over the age of 25 (I say generously) have any knowledge. BTW, let’s remember most WWE programming doesn’t want you to recall match results, etc., from last month.

I remember seeing the Rockers at a few live shows in West Michigan as a kid, and that was 20 years ago. Why would a current 15-year old care about such things?

I’m sure to be overanalyzing all this nonsense. But it wasn’t that long ago when WWE television was fun to watch. It’s not anymore.

And speaking of ancient history, no mention of the Nature Boy during the show was simple inexcuasable.

Have a wonderful week.

- Matt in Anchorage

9:35 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

In addition to what Matt said, Scott Hall no showed TNA just last night, so saying "thanks for coming" to Razor Ramon was a nod to that. I don't have a problem with the occasional inside joke in WWE. Unlike TNA, they do it sparingly and there is rarely a segment where you need to understand some obscure reference to get the segment. The Hall joke was just a little bonus for fans who follow closely. The larger point Matt makes is an important one, though. WWE pays such little attention to fitting together storylines carefully and acknowledging history that they discourage fans from remembering longer term things. An example of that was evident with Stephanie. Last time she was on Raw she disliked her father. Time before that she liked her father. This time, she liked her father. There needs to be greater attention to detail.

As far as Jim Ross goes, he referenced what I said in his blog too. Hopefully he doesn't make that brain fart in the future. It's hardly a big deal, but I'm a fan of JR so I like to see him at his best. I know it can't be easy commentating WWE in 2007.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous the masterbater aka #1 HHH Hater said...

So I am assuming HHH will get his title shot in let me guess....... Wrestlemania? Instead of giving HHH the rode to the title why not Jericho?? Wouldn't that be better then just having him rush against Randy Orton in the next pay per view? Where is the build? Why are they in such a rush? Have Jericho win the Rumble and then go to Wrestlemania that is how it SHOULD be done bet then again I am nobody, what do I know. I just tired of watching the great all mighty HHH wrestle in the main event of Wrestlemania again year after year.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous tyson kaethler said...


I don't know if there's any truth to this, but I heard Triple H will win the title from Orton at Royal Rumble, with Batista winning the rumble and facing Trips at Mania for the WWE belt. But that means Jericho gets lost in the shuffle and also means Batista loses his World title before then. But, if they're doing Edge/Undertaker, then I can see Batista dropping his strap to Edge and having Taker chase for it.

5:27 AM  

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