Monday, April 14, 2008

Raw Report

Date: 04/14/08 from London, England.

The Big News: Mickie James won the women’s title, Chris Jericho interjected himself in the Batista vs. Shawn Michaels feud, and next week there will be a King of the Ring tournament.

Show Analysis:

Shawn Michaels came out to start the show and said the thing with Ric Flair is a closed issue for everyone but Batista. Michaels said Batista’s real issue is Michaels. He said he’s not proud of everything he has done, but he is tired of apologizing for his past. Ric Flair’s music played, but Chris Jericho instead came out to boos. Jericho said he wanted to make the point that we’ll never hear that music again thanks to Michaels. Way to disprove your own point there, Y2J.

Jericho called Michaels a phony, and said that Batista’s point isn’t that Michaels retired Flair but that he enjoyed doing it. He said he thrived on screwing Bret and kicking Marty through the Barbershop window. Jericho said that’s who Flair is. Jericho said Batista’s dislike of Michaels isn’t irrational, and he wouldn’t be surprised if Michaels suggested to Vince the Flair retirement stipulation. Michaels gave him a superkick. They announced that there will be a King of the Ring next week, which is a good idea for a one week rating.

Santino and Carlito beat Paul London and Brian Kendrick in a number one contenders match. Carlito hit a sit down power bomb on Kendrick, and the heels briefly got the heat on him. He tagged London, who came in with a huracanrana and spinning heel kick. However, Carlito caught him with a back stabber for the pin. London and Kendrick didn’t break up after the match. Santino and Carlito cut a brief comedy promo after the match vowing to take the titles.

Mickie James beat Beth Phoenix to win the women’s title. The announcers did a good job telling the story of Mickie finally beating Beth, but it would have worked even better if they hadn’t abandoned the story for so long and then brought it back and immediately paid it off. Beth hit a slingshot suplex and used a cool camel clutch-like submission. Mickie rammed her into the turnbuckle, hit a spinning head scissors, and used a Thesz press off the top. Beth kicked out of that, but then Mickie got her in a victory roll for the pin. An emotional Mickie celebrated after the match, and even kissed Todd Grisham in celebration.

William Regal backstage said he wanted to prove he can beat Randy Orton. Chris Jericho approached Regal and wanted to be in a triple threat match with Batista and Shawn Michaels. Regal said he could referee the match. He then announced Umaga vs. Jericho for the Intercontinental Title. I absolutely hate interjecting Jericho into the Batista/Michaels match. I thought that was the strongest match on the card as far as selling PPVs, and Jericho to me seriously subtracts from the match. It confuses the basic issue and tells everyone there will be a screw job finish.

JTG beat Cade Murdoch in a brief match. Murdoch hit a crossbody off the top, but JTG rolled through for the pin. Cade and Murdoch teased dissension after the match.

Randy Orton beat William Regal. Orton before the match said he has beaten everyone there is to beat, but now he would get to beat the Raw GM in his own country. Regal received chants of “let’s go Regal” as well as other odd noises coming from the crowd in his support. Orton hit a back breaker, but Regal used a series of exploders. One dropped Orton right on his head. Regal followed with an awesome knee lift, but Orton hit the RKO out of the blue for the pin.

Chris Jericho beat Umaga to retain his title. The two brawled early, before Umaga took over with a head butt, splash and nerve hold. Jericho hit a baseball slide, but on the outside, Umaga gave him a clothesline. Umaga missed his running butt drop, and Jericho hit a series of forearms including one off the top rope. Jericho went for the Walls, but Umaga escaped. Umaga hit a Samoan drop, but he missed the Samoan spike. Umaga was sent into the ring post and Jericho put his feet on the ropes for the pin. The second half of the match was quite good.

Paul Burchill beat Jim Duggan in a quick match with the curb stomp. Sadly, Duggan didn’t try to get the crowd to chant U.S.A.

JBL and HHH battled to a no contest in a bad match with a worse finish. They brawled. JBL hit a swinging neck breaker and full nelson. HHH used a face buster and clothesline over the top, at which point Randy Orton interfered to end the match. Orton gave HHH an RKO. JBL then laid out Orton and HHH with the clothesline from hell.

Final Thoughts:

This show was again a little lighter on star power, with no Smackdown or ECW wrestlers and no John Cena either. Given that, I thought the show was overall a slightly above average entry. Orton-Regal, James-Phoenix and Jericho-Umaga were all good, as was the Michaels promo at the beginning. The show did end on a sour note, however.

9 Comments:

Anonymous mean dean said...

but Regal used a series of exploders.

I was already disappointed I was going to miss the show, but this just put it over the top. Regal's always been one of my favorite guys to watch, his stuff with Benoit a few years ago was fantastic.

11:58 PM  
Anonymous the masterbater said...

Is Regal semi-retired? I really don't see him wrestling too much since he is a GM. Watching him wrestle makes me feel like im watching the mid 90's again, you don't see too many wrestlers do what regal do anymore. Thats a shame too.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous J Patrick said...

I feel like there's a ton of people on the show right now that I don't know whether or not I'm supposed to like...it's almost like they're purposefully developing people to where one week they do heroic things and the next they do atrocious things.....guys like Big Show, Chris Jericho, and Batista come to mind immediately. It's one thing for someone to be a "tweener," but I think it's another thing for plot lines to just be muddled and confusing.

1:06 PM  
Blogger DW said...

Actually, I love the idea that some of these people aren't falling into the "cookie cutter" faces or heels categories. I like wrestlers who entertain me - be they a face or heel. I don't like someone just because they are a "face." I like them because they are talented and keep me watching. We actually need to get away from this silly faces vs heels mentality sometimes. It serves a purpose but every match doesn't have to revolve around it.

A good example for me is Orton vs Triple H. Orton is the heel, Triple H the face. Orton is wildly entertaining - I love the guy for what he does in the ring, so I'll cheer him. Triple H is an untalented bore. He may be a face, but I'll boo him because I don't think he's entertaining. And if Triple H turns heel, I'll probably still boo him because his "role" won't change the fact that I don't like him as a performer.

Decide who you like based on the entertainment factor - don't just like someone because they are a "face."

6:56 PM  
Anonymous j patrick said...

dw,

I completely agree with you....it's just the way things are written I'm not quite sure where they're headed...it makes me feel like there's no long term direction and they're just feeling out how the audience responds. But, it's a tv show, so it'll produce a different response in different people.

I think everyone hates HHH, but I'm glad to see there's someone else out there besides me who enjoys watching Orton...I've also really grown to "love to hate" Edge and I was always happier when Flair was a heel.

7:19 PM  
Blogger DW said...

j patrick,

I'm fairly certain there is little long term direction with the untalented people who create these weekly shows. I think you are on the money with that observation. I don't think that "heels" and "faces" means that there'll be direction in the shows, though. What these programs need is good, solid writing. And that's exactly what they lack. A good, entertaining story doesn't need the simplistic "heel" vs "face" element. There are hundreds of possible storylines - it just takes talented people to create them. And when you staff your creative team with relatives and friends instead of talent, well...that explains it.

Orton is tremendous - I'm also glad to hear that you appreciate him. He's the whole damn show, in my opinion.

Triple H? A selfish, untalented bore, if I may repeat myself. He has influence backstage and he writes himself into the starring role every week, demeaning and burying others with his brazen self-promotion. It's a terrible conflict of interest - to be on the creative team and also perform in the ring, writing yourself into the champion role. It must create all sorts of demoralization backstage. I'm sure that one day, fans will see that Triple H offers nothing to the show except a lot of boring water-spitting, some pathetic roaring, and one or two silly, fake moves that clearly are not "finishers." He'll go too far over the top and fans will turn against him. It almost happened once - on a RAW show where he buried about five people and turned on a tag team that assisted him in a win. That fiasco created a few boos in the audience. He'll go too far again someday and the downswing will begin. That day can't come too soon.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

Regardless of what kind of politicking Aitch does, or how entertaining you may or may not find him, it's terribly inaccurate to call him untalented.

11:14 PM  
Blogger DW said...

I disagree. I don't see much of anything in him. His entrances are the standard stuff, a blowhard who tries to make an over-the-top entrance seem unique (the bigger, the better doesn't equate to talent), he has limited moves in the ring, and his mic skills are nothing different from what any ordinary person does. You may be confusing his "talent" with the fact that he's in our face constantly because he makes the backstage decisions to do so.

Yes, I dislike him, but I base my judgment of his talent on more than my opinion of him.

9:12 AM  
Blogger DW said...

Let's not forget that any politicking that Triple H does is backed by nepotism, a tremendous assist that the ordinary roster member can't take advantage of.

9:35 AM  

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