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.


Anonymous #1 HHH Hater said...

Wow I am suprised that HHH didn't get mugged by the ECW roster. What a shock! Of course I am being sarcastic. We can't have the mighty and holy HHH get destroyed. Almost a whole entire roster cannot take him down. He has to look good and Kennedy has to be sacrificed to get a beat down. I was almost back on the WWE bandwagon since the Flair fairwell and Wrestlemania run and then this show and last week show reminds me on how much I stopped watching the WWE. I am just hoping the day when HHH and Stephanie have a real life divorce and then HHH will be buried unmercifully!! But for now I will watch Wrestlemania 12 over and over on how HHH got buried by the Warrior.

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todd did you ever watch the Hardy's DVD? And if you did is it worth purchasing?

8:54 AM  
Blogger Swain said...

I wonder how long before WWE realizes that the corollary to Regal's turning out the lights in response to lack of respect from the fans is that fans change the channel as the result of a lack of respect from WWE.
Tonight, Smackdown and ECW are here in London. I've known about it for months, and could have bought tickets and booked the night off work. But why would I waste the money to see a tv taping that would ultimately be unsatisfying and devoid of entertainment? And given that there still seem to be a large number of tickets available, I don't think I'm the only one to have this response.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok.. Has anyone taken the time to actually think about just how stupid the Burchill segment was. Let me count the ways.

1. They "cut" JRs mic and yet it is still on..

2. They cut his mic why??? Was there some huge disrespect generated from JR to Regal, not really just more JRs helpless lets pick on him heat which is played out

3. When did handicap matches stop having tags..

4. Shouldn't jobbers not look like physical equals to the guy you are pushing?

5. and most of all... They gave someone the gimmick of bad announcer.... Think about that, even when Maria was being portrayed as an idiot at least it was supposed to be a ditzy gimmick,

Can you imagine this happening anywhere else in the world other than pro wrestling... Seriously imagine you are watching Daily Show and the Head of Programming of Comedy Central walks in and to thank the people who pay the bills by watching his network he replaces Jon Stewart with The Ultimate Warrior to provide you with your daily wit on the world of politics...

What is the payoff of having someone with the gimmick of bad announcer its not as though there is some big money match to be had out of it, and when you put William Hung style levels of trainwreck on the same show as turning out the lights on matched you get a disaster why would you want to stay tuned to this..

Here is the only reason why I did I was literally just waiting to see what they would do next to piss off Todd Martin... If I thought they cared I would have thought they booked this show just to jab at Todd in the way they created the RTC to jab at the PTC...

You talk how there is good heat and bad heat Mike Adamele creates a new standard for the bad kind of humor as in i laugh at how many people have just turned off the product because they officially have stopped inadvertently putting out a bad product and started purposely putting out a bad product

all i can say is

BRAVO!!!! as in Dino Bravo who also would have had to job Monday is he were still alive because he is canadian...

5:16 PM  

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