Monday, June 09, 2008

Raw Report

Date: 06/09/08 from Oakland, CA.

The Big News: Vince McMahon gave away a million dollars. It sounds much more exciting in theory than in practice.

Show Analysis:

Mr. Kennedy beat Paul Burchill in the opener. Burchill hit a back suplex and clothesline, but Kennedy came back with a kick to the head and mic check for the clean pin. After the match Katie slapped Kennedy and Burchill gave him a neck breaker. Still, this result doesn’t bode well for Mr. Burchill. Before this match Vince McMahon gave out the password for the money, and after the match he gave away $200,000. The guy had a phone that directed Vince to a wacky song, which was quite amusing.

Mickie James beat Beth Phoenix. Beth countered a tornado DDT into a side slam. She then channeled the immortal Heavy Metal Van Hammer and delivered a slingshot suplex. Mickie responded with a spinning head scissors, punches, and the Charlie Thesz press off the top for the clean pin. Beth jumped Mickie after the match, but Melina ran out and laid Beth out with a face buster off the top. I don’t recall Beth ever being booked this weakly. Afterwards Vince gave out more money.

Backstage, HHH said it isn’t personal with John Cena, but rather it’s about being the best. HHH said that he is the best. Cena responded that he beat HHH in their match at WrestleMania. HHH said that was then and this is now.

Next up was one of the biggest car crash segments in the history of Raw. Vince McMahon tried to give out money with Charlie Haas. Vince dialed the number three times, but got static and eventually a busy signal. So they got another number, and gave away some money.

Vince said he would increase the amount if Charlie kissed a diva. Maria came out and they kissed. Vince said he would throw in more if Charlie kissed another, which was of course Mae Young’s cue to come out and make out with Charlie. Ron Simmons crept out, said “damn” off camera and quickly exited. I think he didn’t want to have anything to do with the segment.

John Cena beat JBL. HHH did commentary and after the match exchanged words with Cena. Prior to the match, JBL said the people don’t deserve Vince’s money. JBL jumped Cena at the beginning of the match, and used punches and a sleeper. Cena came back with shoulder blocks, the Cena slam, and the five knuckle shuffle.

Cena went for the FU, but JBL raked his face and hit the clothesline from hell. JBL went for the pin, but Cena got his foot on the ropes. JBL cleared the announcers’ table to do something bad, but Cena pinned him with a small package when he got back in the ring. This was a rather dull match. Vince gave out more money. He misdialed the number at first, and these segments by now were getting very annoying.

The Highlight Reel featured Shawn Michaels. Chris Jericho introduced Michaels as a friend, but then went on about how Michaels was lying to everyone. Michaels said he only lied to Jericho. Jericho noted that when Michaels superkicked him Michaels got cheered, and when he told the truth he got booed. Jericho asked Michaels how he turned into such a lying, cheating worm of a human being. He attacked Michaels and they got into a fight. Jericho kicked him low. He told Michaels the worst is yet to come, and then threw him into the Jeritron.

The lead-up to this point has been weird and inconsistent, but this was a very strong turn by Jericho. He conveyed an intensity and anger that came across very well. We have seen a lot of the sarcastic heel Jericho, so I think a more dark character would be a good idea this time around. It would also make him fit more into the main event picture.

Snitsky and Umaga beat Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes. Umaga kicked Holly in the head and Snitsky gave him elbow drops. Holly hit a drop kick to the leg and tagged Rhodes. Rhodes used some clotheslines on Umaga, but Umaga hit a face first black hole slam and Samoan spike for the pin. Umaga is kind of demeaned by even being associated with these three idiots (I speak in terms of the way they are portrayed).

After the match, Ted DiBiase said that at the Night of Champions he will win the tag titles along with a mystery partner. I don’t know what lowers the tag titles more. On one hand, the tag champions lose to a random team that may have never teamed before and doesn’t appear to be getting a tag title shot. On the other hand, a guy who has never wrestled before in the company and an unknown person are getting a title shot right off the bat without having accomplished anything. I know it’s a work and the tag titles are already dead, but that’s certainly not going to help a potential resurrection.

Vince announced a sing-off between Trevor Murdoch and Jillian Hall. Murdoch got booed again. They really miscalculated by turning him so fast before they were sure they had a character people liked. Now he’s really dead. Jillian was worse and got booed more loudly. Vince called up someone and gave her $2, which is what he said those performances were worth. I don’t see the point of mocking your fans, other than the fact Vince loves mocking people. Worse, it wasted time and made for awful television. He then gave away $200,000.

Cryme Tyme beat Santino and Carlito. The heels worked over JTG. Santino used a camel clutch. Eventually JTG got the tag to Shad. Shad hit a powerslam and STO on Santino for the pin. After the match Cryme Tyme helped Vince give away more money.

Jeff Hardy beat HHH via count out. Cena did commentary. Jeff went for the twist of fate but HHH escaped and hit a spine buster. He followed with a high knee, Irish whips into the corner and a face buster. Jeff missed the whisper in the wind, so HHH rammed him into the barricade and threw Jeff into Cena. This annoyed Cena, who stopped HHH from getting into the ring and Jeff was announced as the winner.

This was a total squash, with Jeff getting around the amount of offense Colin Delaney does in an average match. It was one of those performances by HHH, Kevin Nash or Hulk Hogan where they totally bury their opponent throughout the match and then lose via fluke in the end in a way that says even if the opponent wins they are still nothing. Jeff gave Cena and HHH a pescado after the match. Vince gave away more money at the end of the show and announced he would do it again next week. For the love of God, give it away in fewer increments.

Final Thoughts:

This was a relatively bad show even without the money segments, but with them it was even worse. This money gimmick is so bad. It comes off as kind of desperate, but that’s not even the crux of the problem. The problem is much simpler: it makes for really boring television. Watching Vince dial telephone numbers isn’t at all entertaining. It kind of reminds me of the diva search, and at least the diva search had boobs. It’s particularly insufferable here on the west coast where there is no drama and no entertainment.

I guess we will see how it does as a one week ratings gimmick. I could see it working as car crash television, but I also could see the sheer banality of it all being a turn off. Either way, I can’t imagine that it will hold up as more than a one week ratings gimmick. So hopefully Vince will kill it off next week or the week after.

The final segment with Jeff Hardy and HHH was quite the trip as well. It seems like someone may be getting insecure about the perceived flatness of his title run.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've never heard of Rick Astley?!?! Vince was RICKROLLED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed that it was funny, but probably not funny enough to lose $50K (or whatever it was) for the laugh.

3:56 AM  
Blogger sides said...

That show was a snooze fest...I hadn't been able to watch an entire episode of Raw since early May and was excited to do so last night. Especially because I've been seeing some good reviews for the show in the past couple weeks. Last night was crap.

5:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vince isn't the first in wrestling to give away one million dollars - Eric Bischoff gave aways millions to a drunken Dennis Rodman and Master P.

8:39 AM  
Anonymous HHH said...

What do you mean I am getting insecure Todd? This is pretty normal for me to humiliate my opponent and to make myself look great.

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the job you did elevating RVD and Booker T, hunter.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rating was a 3.0 LOL!!!!

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Good to see it tanked in the ratings (3.0). Since it would be dishonest to Vince to drop the bit without giving a million away next week as promised, hopefully they'll just give it all away in one shot. Hopefully right at the start of the show, making way for actual wrestling content.

Between the poor quality of recent shows and reading "Ring of Hell", I think I might finally stop watching this crap soon.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous CF Kane said...

I really don't think I can say how boring that show really was. It was on the level of watching a rerun of the Jerry Lewis telethon. What's the point of giving away a load of money if you don't even allow the winners to be heard on the air? For all we know, it was just Pat Patterson in the back, doing a bunch of different voices. Raw seems as though it's crumbling. The HHH/Cena matchup is completely stale, even if it has been two years since they fought. I don't see anybody coming in to change the dynamic of the show in the near future. The draft won't supply anybody particularly new or enticing; MVP? Punk? That's a slow boat to nowhere. I find myself to be agreeing with Bob's comment. Is there really a reason I watch this show, outside of being tired after a long day at the job? None that I can see.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Steve Khan said...

Chris Jericho makes a good point - what's wrong with you people?

9:49 PM  
Blogger DW said...

Wonder if HHH knows that humiliating the opponent is exactly what makes him insecure - it it's without presentation and skill, of which he has very little, if any.

9:04 AM  
Blogger brian said...

I watched the Vince rickrolling segment on YouTube, the song was funny but the money giveaway concept just seemed boring and embarassingly bad. Is this still meant to be a wrestling show?

As for Hunter, are you gonna re-hire the Ultimate Warrior just to get your win back?

5:15 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Hunter vs. Warrior at the next WrestleMania is such a great idea on so many levels.

5:56 PM  

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