Monday, December 17, 2007

Raw Report

Date: 12/17/07 from Buffalo, NY.

The Big News: Raw didn’t suffer a letdown following their fifteenth anniversary show. The subsequent edition was a well-booked and entertaining program, highlighted by Jeff Hardy scoring a win over champion Randy Orton.

Show Analysis:

Mickie James, Michelle McCool, Kelly Kelly and Maria defeated Jillian Hall, Melina, Layla and Victoria in a Santa’s Little Helpers match. Basically, the women were in skimpy theme costumes that provided lots of panty shots. The match itself was pretty much a clusterfuck, with some pretty brutal stretches. The heels worked over Michelle, who made the hot tag to Mickie after Victoria missed a second rope moonsault. Mickie hit a Thesz press off the top, huracanrana, neckbreaker and implant DDT on Victoria for the pin. The faces cleared the ring of the heels after the match.

Vince McMahon staggered to the ring at the end of this match. He was upset that his night of celebration ended in humiliation. Vince didn’t understand how people could celebrate his anguish. Jeff Hardy came out and compared Vince to Saddam Hussein. An upset Vince sat down in the corner, and remained there after a commercial break. William Regal tried to get him to leave. HHH came out, and tried to get Vince to leave. Regal told HHH to leave Vince alone, and had a stare down with HHH. Vince got up and started muttering. He made Coach and Regal vs. HHH, and said he hoped something bad would happen.

Triple H beat William Regal and Coach. Regal kicked HHH’s head into the ring post early, which was a really impressive spot. They should have sold it much more, but HHH kicked out before two. Regal and Coach double teamed HHH. HHH made a comeback. Regal brought in brass knuckles, but was caught with a spine buster. Coach went to use the knuckles, but thought better of it and handed them over to HHH. HHH gave him a pedigree for the pin.

Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly beat Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade. This was short, but good while it lasted. Holly went for the Alabama slam, but he was cut off. Cade held him for a Murdoch yakuza kick. After being worked over briefly, Holly made the tag to Rhodes. Rhodes hit a bulldog and DDT on Cade for the pin. Cody should develop a new finisher. His top moves are really common moves that are almost never finishes.

Ric Flair came out for a promo. He said Vince doesn’t want him to get hurt on Vince’s watch, I guess to connect the dots for those wondering why Vince made the stipulation. Flair said he loves being the Nature Boy and will never retire. He ran down some famous rivals and friends, and said he will always cherish them. He said the locker room believes in him, and he’ll bring his best. This was generally a very good promo, although it went on a little too long.

Ric Flair beat Umaga via count out. Umaga kicked Flair in the back of the head, hit a splash, and applied a nerve hold. Flair came back with chops, but Umaga hit a Samoan drop. Umaga missed a head butt off the second rope, and Flair responded with chops and chop blocks. They went to the outside, where Umaga rammed Jeff into the ring post. He charged at Flair, but Flair moved out of the way and Umaga crashed through the barricade. Flair got back in the ring and Umaga was counted out.

Chris Jericho came out and wanted to know why JBL attacked him. He said he invited JBL to Raw, but JBL declined. JBL appeared on the screen and said he attacked Jericho because Jericho touched him. Jericho said people at ringside get knocked down all the time, and called JBL a crybaby. Jericho said he would come to Smackdown for answers. JBL said that if Jericho comes to Smackdown, he will never get another title shot. Jericho said JBL has gone soft and is a has-been. JBL said he would come to Raw and prove he is a wrestling god. The delivery of both men was strong, but they need to better define the issue between them.

Santino and Carlito beat Brian Kendrick and Paul London. Kendrick and London used arm drags on Santino early. Santino tagged Carlito. Kendrick and London got the better of him too, with a monkey flip and crossbody off the top. Santino broke up the pinning attempt, and managed to distract both faces. That gave Carlito the opportunity to hit the back stabber for the pin. After the match, Santino said that this was a great pairing of an Italian and a Colombian. TNA would love this, a tag team feuding in their first match together. Backstage, Randy Orton said he would kill Jeff Hardy’s dreams. Elsewhere, Vince McMahon made HHH vs. Ric Flair for New Year’s Raw.

Jeff Hardy and Shawn Michaels beat Randy Orton and Mr. Kennedy. Shawn and Jeff were dominant early, and hit stereo pescados. The heels worked over Jeff, who made the hot tag to Shawn. Shawn hit an inverted atomic drop, punches and a flying forearm to Kennedy, but Orton cut off Michaels with a clothesline. The heels then got the heat on Michaels, including a Kennedy running kick to the head and camel clutch. Michaels hit an enzuigiri and tagged Jeff. Jeff hit clotheslines on Orton, and went for the twist of fate. Orton escaped and went for the RKO, but Jeff escaped. Jeff then hit the twist of fate and swanton for the decisive pin. This was a really good match, and there was a big reaction to the finish.

Final Thoughts:

This was a strong show. It had good build, wrestling and pacing.


Anonymous tyson kaethler said...

Todd I don't know why you felt the Flair promo went on too long. The crowd seemed to be into it the whole time he was talking, and I'm sure it wasn't more than 2 minutes, 3 tops. I actually thought Flair's promo was great, he really put over how his career can end with any match (lol).

Speaking of promos, Hardy's wasn't cringe-worthy, it was actually alright and the crowd seemed behind his words. However, I wish they didn't have him bring up Saddam, I mean c'mon already.

Maybe it was tonight's crowd, but judging this particular crowd's reaction to Hardy, I think Jeff proves he can hang in the main event. I know WWE probably won't go with Jeff as a champion, but I think they're missing a huge chance. They're too busy trying to build up "future main eventers" like Lashley, that they're blind to a future main eventer being right in front of them: Jeff Hardy.

Although, they are giving him a title match.. I guess that's better than nothing.

10:23 PM  
Blogger nevs999 said...

Flair, JBL, me old, although I would appreciate it if you didn't, but I really enjoyed the promos probably more than I have in a while. It seemed like "Creative" realized it possesed performers who can handle the mic and allowed those guys to do their thing. Whether all the dialouge makes sense is one thing, but I'd rather watch these cats talk than see Vince "act" or Hornswoggle run through walls.

Will the strong promos - especially for the Nature Boy - continue? I doubt it. But it was fun to watch for at least one night.

- Matt in Anchorage

P.S. - Did anyone out there receive a short online survey from WWE recently? I realized the "E" doesn't care much about what I think when my age demo (35-49) was the second-to-last choice.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Russ said...

Todd, I was wondering if you had a favorite in the Wand/Liddell match coming up this weekend?

5:31 PM  

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