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 http://www.sportsline.com/mmaboxing. 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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you want to know why the Wellness Policy is a joke? Just look at the bump Jeff Hardy took at the end of his match with Umaga. The rotating uranage onto the concrete floor, covered only by a mat.

When Hardy fails another drug test, this time for pain killers, Vince can think about that bump and bumps of that ilk as the reason why.

--Denis Gorman

6:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to toot my own horn, but:

World Wrestling Entertainment® Suspends Performer
May 20, 2008

STAMFORD, Conn., May 20, 2008 - In accordance with its Substance Abuse and Drug Testing Policy, WWE® has suspended Darren Matthews (William Regal) for 60 days for his second violation of the company’s policy.


Media Contact: Gary Davis, 203-353-5066


Now, what do you want to bet that Matthews had pain-killing drugs in his system?

--Denis Gorman

8:15 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

A wellness suspension was my first inclination when they did the angle with Regal, but when they never announced it on WWE.com all evening, I figured that couldn't be it. Previously they hadn't held off announcing that news to sell angles.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its sad that William Regal cant seem to get it together..I hope he does

I have not watched a full raw in months and monday as I flipped the channels I remembered why..I saw an old relic and a young relic do an angle and no one cared..not the people in the resturant or the arena...NO ONE CARED..Have you ever seen two people fight in a joint and none of the other customers stop eating? Has a program ever been so utterly stillborn..I was a big Piper mark growing up but now its sad and Santino is well Santino...And Shelton Benjamin wastes away on ECW

Then it was the Orton "kick" on Cena that Ross and Lawler tried to make like Cena was dead and Cena was laying looking like it but of course the first time you could see the kick missed by a mile and the slow mo was worse..

My guess is the Cena/Mickie thing is gonna go Fatal Attraction...Lets hope Cena doesnt have a pet bunny

8:02 AM  

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