Monday, May 26, 2008

Raw Report

Date: 05/26/08 from Denver, CO.

The Big News: I am proud to announce a new promotion. Every week here I will be giving out $1,000,000 to a lucky reader.*

Show Analysis:

Vince McMahon started the show by saying that he would show his appreciation for the fans, even if it meant doing something that has never been done before. Somewhere Vince Russo panicked, thinking McMahon might beat him to the punch on the 12 diva blindfold weapons reverse cage match concept.

HHH and Randy Orton had a face off. Orton said that everyone downplays his accomplishments. HHH responded that he knows how good Orton is, but that Orton always tries to backdoor his way through challenges. HHH said Orton is trying to convince himself of his greatness because he is a scared little boy. He added that Orton ought to thrive on competition.

Orton asserted that HHH keeps people to close to him so he can manipulate them. Orton noted that he was in Evolution until he became a threat by winning the title, and HHH tried to take him out. HHH responded that he made Orton realize his potential, but then Orton had to fight for himself. Orton said he has passed HHH and will beat the hell out of him Sunday. HHH vowed to leave Orton lying and it will be like the Age of Orton never existed. Both men cut very good promos, particularly HHH.

Melina beat Jillian Hall. Apparently Melina is now a face based on this match, which is weird given she has been beat up by Beth Phoenix at every turn. Beth did commentary. Jillian hit a handspring elbow and choked Melina. Melina hit a dropkick and applied the California Dream for the submission. Backstage Vince McMahon granted Chris Jericho’s request for a match with Shawn Michaels and allowed Cryme Tyme to auction off William Regal’s stuff.

Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes defeated Paul London and Brian Kendrick. Rhodes hit a dropkick on London, so Kendrick and London used a double dropkick on Rhodes. Rhodes used an elbow off the ropes on Kendrick, but missed a crossbody off the top. London tagged in and hit dropkicks and a huracanrana on Holly. Holly went for the Alabama slam, but Kendrick broke it up. Kendrick and Rhodes fought to the outside, and Holly scored with the Alabama slam on London for the pin.

After the match, Ted DiBiase appeared. He said that Rhodes and Holly’s days as tag champions will soon be over, because Ted DiBiase Jr. is here. DiBiase Jr. put Holly and Rhodes on notice he is coming for the tag titles. Sadly they made no reference to the Rhodes/DiBiase WWF feud, but at least we got the Million Dollar Man music. Cody next week needs to say he’s going to beat Ted Jr. to avenge Sweet Sapphire’s betrayal.

Roddy Piper trained the dude from the Kimmel show for a match with Santino. Basically Piper beat the dude up for comedy. Mickie James and Vince McMahon met backstage. Mickie had an idea for sending divas to schools. JBL came in and suggested giving away mat pieces with Cena’s blood. He talked about beating up Mickie’s boyfriend, but Mickie said Cena isn’t her boyfriend.

JBL and Umaga beat John Cena and Jeff Hardy. Cena hit punches and went for the FU on Umaga, but Umaga stopped him with elbows. Umaga hit a spinning sidewalk slam on Cena, but Cena was able to make the tag. Umaga threw Jeff to the floor, and JBL rammed Jeff into the apron. JBL followed with knees, stomps and elbows. Jeff hit the whisper in the wind and tagged Cena. Cena came in with the Cena slam and five knuckle shuffle on JBL. Cena tagged Jeff, but Jeff missed the swanton and JBL delivered the clothesline from hell for the pin. This match was good but unambitious.

Mr. Kennedy beat Carlito. Carlito missed a springboard elbow and Kennedy went for the mic check, but Carlito escaped. Kennedy hit a high kick, clothesline, and fireman carry slam. Carlito hit a power slam, but Kennedy abruptly used the mic check for the pin. After the match, Katie Lea said that William Regal was doing an excellent job, and taking him out made Kennedy an enemy. Paul Burchill attacked him from behind with a neck breaker and curb stomp.

Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho battled to a double count out. Jericho and Michaels did some chain wrestling early. Jericho worked over Michaels, but Michaels came back with an inverted atomic drop and flying forearm. Jericho went for the Walls, but Michaels used a cradle for a near fall. Jericho missed a moonsault, then Michaels missed an elbow off the top, then Jericho missed the code breaker, then Michaels missed sweet chin music.

Jericho finally applied the Walls. Michaels got to the ropes, but Jericho punted him to the outside. On the outside, Jericho applied the Walls again and both men were counted out. Jericho grabbed a chair after the match, but decided to help Michaels up rather than hit him with it. Jericho is teasing an emotional breakdown that is very reminiscent of his first heel turn in WCW. Hopefully Ralphus is on his way back.

Vince McMahon concluded the show with his big announcements. First, he said that in four weeks there will be a draft. I have never liked the draft, but I won’t rehash that argument. This year refreshing the rosters is such an imperative that it almost overcomes the negatives of a draft as the means to that end.

Second, Vince alluded to some sort of promotion where they will give away a million dollars every week on Raw. It would appear Vince is waging war on DVR. Of course, the last time they promised a million dollar giveaway it ended up being a 1 in 25 chance of giving away a million dollars, so we will see if there is some sort of trick involved. Vince said there isn’t, but Vince doesn’t have a longstanding reputation for veracity.

Final Thoughts:

This show was fine. It was entertaining and featured good wrestling. One Night Stand, unfortunately, has little momentum going for it. That’s not really the television’s fault. There’s only so much you can do when you space shows so close together. For sure, WWE should cut One Night Stand from next year’s schedule. This year, they’ve done what they can to create interest, but it’s a hard sell.

I should be on Max Kellerman’s radio show on ESPN 1050 New York tomorrow morning (Tuesday) at around 11:20-11:30AM Eastern talking UFC 84. You can listen here online: I’ll update this if there is a change in time coming out of the long weekend.

* Zimbabwe dollars. Lucky reader pays for shipping costs.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Raw Report

Date: 05/19/08 from Kansas City, MO.

The Big News: With One Night Stand quickly approaching, WWE went into full build mold, announcing a lineup full of gimmicks.

Show Analysis:

Jeff Hardy and Umaga fought to a double count out. Umaga hit a Samoan drop and diving head butt. Jeff went for the whisper in the wind, but Umaga brushed him aside. Umaga missed his running butt drop, and Jeff came back with punches, kicks, a mule kick, and a somersault plancha. Jeff went for an attack off the barricade on the outside, but he was caught in a spinning sidewalk slam for the double count out. This was a good start to the show, and a really impressive finish.

Backstage, Batista said that Chris Jericho wouldn’t get in the way of his match with Shawn Michaels. Jericho sarcastically said he would just forfeit the match in that case, or maybe he would just beat up Batista.

William Regal came out and announced One Night Stand would be nothing but extreme rules matches. Jeff Hardy and Umaga will wrestle in a falls count anywhere match. Regal then made Randy Orton and JBL vs. HHH and John Cena. If Orton and JBL won, they would get rematches against HHH and Cena with their pick of stipulations. If HHH and Cena won, they would face each other in a match of Regal’s choosing.

Mr. Kennedy interrupted William Regal and challenged him to a match. Regal said he doesn’t take challenges from common wrestlers, and the next person to interrupt him would be fired on the spot. That brought out Vince McMahon. He said that since he endorsed Regal, there have been more viewer complaints than ever. He said that Regal is a ratings killer. Vince subsequently announced Regal vs. Kennedy, with the loser being fired.

Beth Phoenix demolished Maria. She hit a gorilla press, and finished Maria with the glam slam, followed by a surfboard submission. Melina was doing commentary, and she attacked Beth from behind with her shoe after the match. Beth slammed Melina off and left her lying too. Backstage, Katie Lea said she would make a better women’s champion than Mickie James. She accused Mickie of sleeping her way to the top with John Cena. Mickie said Cena was a complete gentleman.

Batista beat Chris Jericho in a hell of a TV match. They brawled early. Batista hit a press slam and clothesline. Jericho started selling his knee, but Batista was just amused. Batista then started selling his knee, and Jericho went after it with a chop block and elbow drops. Batista responded with a big boot and spine buster. He went for the Batista bomb, but Jericho attacked the leg and reversed into a half crab.

Batista got to the ropes, but Jericho went back to the leg with a chop block. However, he missed a lionsault. Batista again went for the Batista bomb, but Jericho grabbed the ropes to counter. Jericho kicked Batista’s leg and dove off the top, but got caught with a clothesline. Batista accidentally ran into the post, and Jericho went for the code breaker. Batista prevented the code breaker, and instead countered into the Batista bomb for the pin. Batista now gets Shawn Michaels in a stretcher match at One Night Stand.

Vince McMahon met with William Regal. Regal wanted to know the deal with this loser gets fired business. At that point, Ted DiBiase showed up and Vince told Regal to leave his office so he could discuss business with DiBiase.

Santino came out for a fake Piper’s Pit. He ran down Roddy Piper, and they showed an angle from the Jimmy Kimmel show. Santino brought out a guy from that show, and demanded an apology from him. Santino had a cake, so of course Piper showed up and Santino ended up getting the cake over him. Santino challenged the guy from the Kimmel show. This angle didn’t do anything for me. I’ve seen so much better from both Santino and Piper and I have no idea who this other guy is.

Mr. Kennedy defeated William Regal. They traded punches. Kennedy hit a back drop and running kick. Regal dropped Kennedy on the apron and hit knee drops and an exploder. They brawled some more and Kennedy hit a spinning enzuigiri. They went to the outside, and Regal announced that the match would be no-DQ. He threw Kennedy into the steps and grabbed a pair of brass knuckles. He went to use them in the ring but Kennedy hit the mic check for the pin. This was another good match.

Regal went back to his office after the match, and found Teddy Long exiting the office. I don’t know where they are going with this. I would guess that they are turning Regal into more of a wrestler than a GM, and I think that is a positive decision. I really like Regal as a performer, but I didn’t care for the Regal GM gimmick. I can’t imagine that they will be taking Regal off TV, given how well he has performed in recent weeks.

Randy Orton and JBL beat HHH and John Cena. Prior to the match, HHH said he isn’t best friends with Cena but JBL and Orton aren’t that close either. HHH said it makes no difference to him whether he takes on Cena or Orton. HHH and Orton started the match. HHH hit a high knee, but the heels ended up working over HHH. Orton missed a dropkick, and HHH made the tag. Cena cleaned house and hit a five knuckle shuffle on Orton. Orton went for the RKO, but Cena escaped and went for the FU. JBL kicked him in the head and Orton covered for two.

Orton and Cena collided, and Cena tagged in HHH. HHH hit a face buster, neck breaker and spine buster on JBL. HHH tagged Cena, and Cena applied the STFU to JBL. Orton went for a kick on HHH but hit Cena. JBL then covered Cena for the win. After the match, Orton gave HHH an RKO. JBL said he would wrestle Cena in a first blood match, and Orton said he would wrestle HHH in a last man standing match.

Final Thoughts:

This was a really fun show with a lot of good wrestling and good angles. This was one of my favorite editions of Raw this year. With two weeks until the next PPV, I guess they felt they didn’t have time to mess around. They did about as good of a job as they could building that card, although I don’t know about teasing HHH vs. Cena and instead delivering Orton vs. HHH given fan interest is likely stronger for the first match.

I’d like to encourage people to check out the MMA section at CBS Sportsline throughout the week at I’ve got a lot of interesting stuff coming there. There’s a piece up now on B.J. Penn vs. Sean Sherk. Tomorrow a big piece on EliteXC’s CBS debut should be up with quotes from fighters, promoters, executives and announcers associated with the show. Wednesday there should be a piece on Affliction’s debut MMA card. And Saturday I will be live blogging from UFC 84.

Friday, May 16, 2008

February Bar Results In

Application Number:
File Number:
The name above appears on the pass list for the February 2008 California Bar Examination.

Thank God!

I didn't write about this previously because it was so demoralizing, but I took and didn't pass the July 2007 California Bar Exam. I missed by less than 20 points out of the needed 1440, and it has been a really demoralizing 6 months since then taking the bar again and waiting for the results. But thankfully, I passed this time and I'll never have to go through that again. What an incredible, incredible relief.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Raw Report

Date: 05/12/08 from Detroit, MI.

The Big News: No matches were cut short this week by William Regal, but Regal found other ways to exercise his authority.

Show Analysis:

The lights were out to start the show, and then came on with King Regal standing in the ring. Lilian Garcia sung God Save the Queen. The people booed, so Regal decided to exercise his authority. He picked out two people at ringside to throw out. At first I thought he picked a guy wearing an Affliction t-shirt, which would have been freaking hilarious. Instead, it was the two people next to him. Mickie James came out to protest, as apparently this was her brother and his girlfriend.

Regal threatened to throw out Mickie or strip her of the title, which brought out John Cena. Cena said he can relate to Regal being annoyed at the fans being rude to him, but Regal is responding to that in the wrong way. Cena said everyone thinks Regal is doing a bad job. He read e-mails from fans complaining about Regal. One e-mail compared the blackouts to WCW Thunder. The fans chanted for Regal to be fired.

Regal thought over these e-mails, and gave his word he wouldn’t turn out the lights on any matches this show. He then announced Cena vs. Randy Orton, and if anyone interfered they would be suspended. He said that perhaps he had earned a little of the fans’ respect. That jerk Cena then interrupted Regal’s song, said he didn’t earn the fans’ respect, and berated him for playing God Save the Queen. As if it’s so horrible the man appreciates his country. Cena then had Lilian sing “Respect.”

Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly retained the tag titles by defeating Carlito and Santino. It was Super Bowl XXXVI all over again, as the heels entered separately and lost to the team that came out together. Roddy Piper watched at ringside because Santino wanted him there. Holly hit a dropkick and low blow but Carlito broke up the Alabama slam with a swinging neck breaker. The heels briefly got the heat on Holly, who then tagged Cody. Cody hit a springboard crossbody and power slam on Santino. Santino used a jaw breaker, but became distracted by Piper and Cody hit a DDT for the pin.

Mr. Kennedy beat Snitsky. Snitsky used punches, kicks, a body slam, an elbow drop, and a bear huge. Kennedy came back by going after the leg with kicks and a chop block. He then hit the mic check for a quick win. Backstage, an angry Santino said that it isn’t the 80s anymore and he’s going to find and hurt Roddy the Piper.

Also backstage, Mickie James thanked John Cena for helping her in the ring. She invited him to go out with her and her family after the show. Cena robotically said he had to focus on his job, but then said he was joking. He said he would go out with her and it might be a long night. Somebody doesn’t like poor Kenny Dykstra.

Mickie James and Maria beat Beth Phoenix and Melina. Beth and Melina collided early, and Beth became angry and left ringside. Mickie then hit a neck breaker for the pin.

Chris Jericho came out to apologize for claiming Shawn Michaels’ injury was fake. Shawn Michaels joined him and said that he’s feigning the injury and he’s not hurt. Jericho said this was some sort of trick and that Michaels is definitely hurt. Michaels gave him sweet chin music, said he isn’t hurt, and left the ring with no limp. This angle isn’t working for me.
Jeff Hardy beat Umaga. Jeff returned to Raw. He said he made a mistake and paid for it. He added that now he’s back and he has a lot of things to do. At that point the mic cut out and King Regal interrupted. He said now Hardy would be punished for his unspecified sins. This brought out Umaga. Umaga threw him into the barricade and hit a head butt off the second rope. Umaga then missed a running butt drop and Jeff hit the whisper in the wind for the pin. This match was too short, but I’m all for Regal cutting off interviews and not matches.

Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch beat Cryme Tyme. The two teams traded a few moves before Murdoch cradled Shad for the pin. Cade then grabbed a mic, and told Murdoch to sing a victory song. A lot of fans were still down on the singing. As Murdoch was singing, Cade attacked him. So that’s the end of that team. The fact that the crowd still booed Murdoch’s singing suggests they rushed this breakup a bit. With that said, I think this breakup is a good move, and has the potential to make each man more important than he was before.

Melina backstage was angry at Beth for leaving the match. Beth said that Melina cost her the women’s title on purpose because Melina knows it is easier to beat Mickie than Beth. Beth said she let off Melina easy. Melina and Beth then had a great intense brawl. Beth ended up destroying her. This was a really strong quick segment to get over Beth.

Randy Orton beat John Cena. Cena hit a fisherman buster early, but Orton scored with a back breaker. Orton went for the Garvin stomp, but Cena grabbed his leg and flung him over the top rope. Orton hit a kick to the head and DDT. Orton went for the RKO, but Cena brushed him off. Cena hit a blockbuster and top rope rocker dropper. JBL then came out and said that Regal determined he would be the new referee.

Cena immediately attacked JBL then turned his attention back to Orton. He went for the FU on Orton, but JBL kicked him in the head and used a fast count for an Orton win. The heels double teamed Cena, which brought out HHH. Cena and JBL fought to the back. In the ring, Orton was attacking HHH. A cage lowered, but HHH hit the spine buster, and threw Orton into the cage to close the show.

Final Thoughts:

This was a much better show than last week. It didn’t do anything to screw the fans, and the angles were largely strong. The only issue was the matches were too quick. No match besides the main event went five minutes, and the average match had to last in the vicinity of two and a half minutes. It’s fine to have some quick matches, but they went so far in that direction it felt like wrestling was a total afterthought. Still, this show reminded me much more of the average quality Raw show of 2008 than what they gave us last week.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Tuesday Notes

Since I was asked, I did indeed watch the Matt and Jeff Hardy DVD. I thought it was another solid effort from WWE. They do such a good job with their DVDs that I pick up the personality pieces basically every time. A note for people thinking about buying: the premise of the DVDs is to track each brother separately. One disc is for Matt and the other for Jeff. They obviously talk about the tag team stuff, but the matches on the discs are more singles matches than tag team matches. Matt comes across as basically a regular guy and very likeable. Jeff to me comes off as wannabe. He's a very good wrestler, but seems to fancy himself some sort of all encompassing artist and creative personality. I think he's been able to maintain it because a fan base of girls finds him hot, but I don't buy it. The DVD has a music video of his, and it's just awful. Almost painful to listen to. But whatever. Guy does very well for himself as a wrestler so if he pursues the other stuff as hobbies, no harm in that. The coolest feature on the DVD is an old match from Omega with Matt and Jeff vs. Shane Helms and someone else in Helms' high school. Not only is it a very fun match, but the wrestlers do commentary which is hilarious. They do something that is rarely done on WWE DVDs, where they just assume everyone is a hardcore internet fan, so they make a bunch of insider references and bullshit about the match. That is definitely worth checking out.

Also, Mania buy rate is in. 1,058,000. It's nice to have vindication on that one, because I got a lot of shit over predicting it would do a disappointing number. That's obviously still a solid number, but under last year, under projections by WWE, under projections by Floyd, under projections by Dave and Bryan, and generally not as good as they were hoping. It shows that 1) the Mania name is extremely strong 2) they could have done a lot better job building Mania this year.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Raw Report

Date: 05/05/08 from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The Big News: WWE clearly hates Canadians. This was the first major show in Canada post-Benoit, and it was easily one of the worst editions of Raw in recent years.

Show Analysis:

Vince McMahon came out to start the show, and said basically nothing. He felt what King Regal did was innovative, daring and visionary. He added that Regal reminds Vince of himself. He endorsed Regal as king and general manager, and asked the fans to show him the same respect they show Vince.

King Regal came out and said he would turn out the lights at any moment if the fans don’t show him respect. The fans chanted that he sucks, so he had the lights turned out. He stood in the ring in the dark, and finally had the lights turned on again. He said he won’t tolerate being disrespected.

Mr. Kennedy joined him, and said that if Regal wants respect he can take on Kennedy. Regal said he is Kennedy’s superior, and Kennedy told him to prove it. Regal said that Kennedy would be in the main event against the entire ECW roster. Regal repeated that he wouldn’t be disrespected by anyone.

That was HHH’s cue. He said that he meant Regal no disrespect, and wanted to congratulate Regal on his position of power. However, he had advice for Regal. He said that if Regal wants to maintain his status, he shouldn’t disrespect HHH. Regal said he won’t mess with HHH, because HHH is too busy. He said it would be HHH and Kennedy vs. the ECW roster.

Mickie James retained the women’s title with a lumberjack match victory over Beth Phoenix. Beth hit a shoulder block and threw Mickie to the outside for a beatdown by the heel women. Mickie hit a neck breaker, but was tripped by a heel woman. Mickie went to the outside, but was tripped again. Mickie hit a Thesz press off the top and enzuigiri. Beth fell to the outside, which led to chaos. In the midst of this, Melina tried to hit Mickie with the title belt but hit Beth and Mickie scored the pin.

William Regal backstage spoke with Jericho. He more or less said, “So, you said Shawn Michaels doesn’t have a knee injury. Do you think Shawn has a knee injury?” Jericho said that Michaels is a great big faker. Regal announced Jericho and Michaels vs. John Morrison and the Miz, and said that if Michaels is 100 percent Jericho will have nothing to worry about.

Trevor Murdoch was singing backstage. Trish Stratus showed up so he decided to sing to her. She didn’t know what to say, which led to Ron Simmons walking in. This vignette made me smile. Elsewhere, Randy Orton said he respects what Regal did as GM. He added that he would show CM Punk what will happen if Punk tries to cash in his Money in the Bank on Orton.

Next up was a car crash of a segment, with Paul Burchill and Katie Lea beating Jon Cutler. Regal said that he was cutting off Jim Ross’ microphone, and bringing out Mike Adamle to call the match. Jerry Lawler then asked Ross if his microphone was on. Ross said “apparently not” but the microphone was still on. Lawler responded, “I can hear you.” This was just ridiculous.

Ross gave Adamle his headset. Adamle started, “We don’t know much about Cutler, except his name rhymes with butler, and if he wins, the Cutler will have done it.” They clearly worked on the lamest joke they could come up with. The basic gimmick was Adamle would say stupid things and Lawler would call him on them. The match was just awful, with botched spots everywhere. The heels utilized stomping, kicks and elbows. Katie hit a double stomp off the top rope. Burchill hit a botched curb stomp and Katie scored the pin. This segment was so utterly dreadful on a number of levels.

Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho beat John Morrison and the Miz. Before the match, Jericho told Michaels he better have his back. Michaels said he is hurt but he would do his best. Michaels limped badly to the ring. He is overselling way too much. Michaels is usually a great seller, but in this case it takes away from the story unless he is going heel. Michaels is limping so badly it isn’t believable that he could actually travel around for weeks with this supposed injury.

Jericho hit a suplex and springboard dropkick on the Miz. Morrison responded with a springboard front kick. The heels worked over Jericho briefly. Jericho came back and applied the Walls to Miz. Morrison broke that up, but Michaels gave Morrison sweet chin music and Jericho hit a lionsault for the pin.

Randy Orton and CM Punk went to a no contest. Orton pulled Punk off the apron and Punk took a back bump to the floor. Orton hit a Garvin stomp. Punk came back with kicks and a bulldog. At that point, Regal turned off the lights and said the match was over. Randy Orton went backstage to confront Regal and was angry. THIS IS THE WRONG KIND OF HEAT.

Roddy Piper was the guest in Carlito’s Cabana. Carlito said Piper took it too far with Santino last week. Piper said he always takes it too far. He beat Mr. T, he beat Hulk Hogan, he beat cancer, and he doesn’t have time to play nice with the Super Mario Brother. This was a good promo.

Santino came out and said that Piper was all his. Santino said it took Piper eight years to win the Intercontinental Title and Santino did it in his first night in the company. He said that Piper slapping him was embarrassing. Piper told Santino to get a designated driver.

There was about to be a fight when Cody Rhodes came out. The heels pointed out Hardcore Holly wasn’t there. I figured that mean Rhodes and Piper would fight the tag champs, but instead Rhodes brought in Cryme Tyme to even the face odds at 4 to 2. Shad said it’s all about that Rowdy Rowdy yeah yeah, and Piper did a bizarre dance.

JBL beat DH Smith. JBL cut a promo in the limousine on the way to the ring, which was clever. He threatened to take Cena on a bad ride. He then destroyed Smith with hard punches, kicks, a big boot, and three clotheslines. JBL beat him up some more after the match.

The ECW roster beat Mr. Kennedy and Triple H. Prior to the match, Regal said that the ECW roster would have the chance to make a statement that combined they are good enough to beat two Raw guys. He added that anything less than victory would be a disappointment.

The faces dominated early, and then the heels briefly got heat on Kennedy. HHH came in and laid out a bunch of people. He got cut off and Kane hit the choke slam on Kennedy. Chavo hit the frog splash on Kennedy for the pin. At least they didn’t bury an entire roster again, but what exactly was the point of this match? HHH cleared the ring afterwards with a bunch of hard chair shots to the head. The lights went out, and when they came back on Orton hit the RKO on HHH to close the show.

Final Thoughts:I really hated this show. It had some awful wrestling, some awful commentary, some awful booking, and a healthy mixture of segments designed to bore fans and irritate them. I don’t know what WWE is going for, but this garbage is not entertaining. It reminds me of a few years ago when WWE would regularly do idiotic and counterproductive angles out of desperation. WWE largely has avoided that stuff of late, but the train is seemingly off the tracks again.

They are giving this William Regal character channel-changing, buzz-killing heat. I love the guy as a performer but by the end of the show when he appeared I just cringed. To begin with, it’s just another version of the authority figure storyline that is unbelievably passe. The other big problem with the heel authority figure is it prioritizes a GM over matches, wrestlers and titles. And this particular heel authority figure has the worst heel GM gimmick of all time, turning off the lights to stop the show and stop individual matches.

There is frequently discussion of the “right type of heat” and the “wrong type of heat.” Well, we have a new paradigm of the wrong type of wrestling heat. The heat a GM character gets when he arbitrarily ends a match just to piss off the fans is the very embodiment of the worst kind of heat.

The reaction isn’t to be angry at the GM. The reaction is to be angry at the promotion. Why should I emotionally invest in a match if it could just be randomly ended at any time for no discernable reason? Why should I stay tuned for a main event if it could meet the same fate? This William Regal gimmick needs to die immediately.