Monday, June 16, 2008

Raw Report

Date: 06/16/08 from Salt Lake City, UT.

The Big News: There’s something different about the formatting on this here site.

Show Analysis:

John Cena came out to start the show and put over WWE huge. He said that WWE has moments that transcend time. He asserted that everybody knows where they were when Hulk Hogan first picked up Andre the Giant (1980?), Shawn Michaels realized his boyhood dream, or Stone Cold Steve Austin first whipped someone’s ass (Savio Vega?). He added that Night of Champions would be another transcendent moment in time. This was comically absurd hyperbole.

HHH joined Cena, annoyed that Cena cost him a match with Jeff Hardy. He said he would give Cena a warning, but there wouldn’t be a second warning not to get involved in his matches. Cena called out HHH for pulling him off the announce table, but HHH said the uncoordinated Cena probably fell.

Cena responded that he made HHH tap and until HHH beats him HHH is nothing. HHH said Cena will let down his fans at Night of Champions, but on the plus side most of his fans will have gone to bed by that time. Cena shoved HHH and they squared off, but Vince McMahon interrupted and announced Cena vs. Umaga in a street fight.

John Cena beat Umaga in a street fight. Cena went for a body slam, but Umaga fell on top of him. Umaga knocked Cena off the apron into the barricade, and hit a Samoan drop on the floor. Umaga missed a running butt drop into the post and Cena hit him with a microphone. Umaga retaliated with a black hole slam. Umaga brought a chair into the ring but Cena got it and hit Umaga with it. Cena hit a top rope famouser and went for the FU but his knees gave way. Umaga sent Cena into the steps and went to hit him with the steps, but Cena lifted him up with the FU for the pin. This was a good match.

Maria won a bikini contest over Eve, Melina, Maryse, Lena, Layla and Jillian. No Katie Lea = no buys. Vince before and after this gave away money. He had trouble dialing again. He got an answering machine once and left a message, which may have been a work.

Jeff Hardy beat Carlito. Jeff hit a somersault plancha, but Carlito took over with a neck breaker, dropkick and elbow. Jeff hit a mule kick and jaw breaker, but Carlito escaped a twist of fate attempt. Shortly thereafter Jeff hit the whisper in the wind, twist of fate and swanton for the pin.

Chris Jericho spoke in the ring. He said he didn’t lie to the fans like Michaels, and thus what happened was the fans’ fault. Now Jericho is here to save himself from the people. Jericho said he hasn’t changed but the fans have. He posited that he did what he did to Michaels because the fans forced him and now he will punish Michaels for the fans’ sins. This was obviously modeled off Bret Hart’s turn in 1997, although the motivations aren’t as clearly defined here.

Jericho called out Michaels, but said Michaels wouldn’t show because he’s a coward. Instead, Ric Flair came out. He noted he is retired but challenged Jericho to a fight in the parking lot. Jericho followed Flair back, but ended up running into HHH. Jericho backed off. After a break, Vince had Flair escorted from the building and made HHH vs. Jericho.

There was a pair of short matches. Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly beat Cryme Tyme in seconds when Cryme Tyme was distracted by Ted DiBiase and rolled up. Paul Burchill and Katie Lea then beat Mickie James and Mr. Kennedy. Burchill and Kennedy traded punches and kicks. Mickie gave Katie clotheslines and a dropkick. Mickie went for a Thesz press off the top but Katie avoided it and hit a back breaker for the pin. Vince gave away more money and said he would give away another million next week.

HHH beat Chris Jericho via DQ. They mostly brawled. The match didn’t really build very much. Jericho got the heat for a little bit. Jericho went for the Walls but HHH escaped. HHH hit a spine buster but Jericho fought out of the pedigree. Then all of a sudden Lance Cade of all people came out and attacked HHH for the DQ. John Cena made the save but HHH attacked Cena, and Cade and Jericho used the opportunity to lay Cena and HHH out.

Final Thoughts:

Well, this was definitely a better show than last week. The contest seemed to flow more seamlessly this time. That’s partly because they emphasized the wrestling segments over the money giveaways rather than the other way around. It’s also partly because Vince had more interaction with the winners which added energy.

The show featured better wrestling than last week as well, and was generally paced pretty well. It wasn’t like there were any blow away segments, however. I’m all for elevating new people, but I’m not sure about this first week in a push of Cade. To me it didn’t really do much to establish him as a serious player, and it’s imperative that they go particularly strong with him at first if this is to work.

The draft next week is likely to be bizarre. It’s coming right before a pay-per-view, and so much of the roster is tied up in current programs. One would expect things to be fairly static before a shake-up, but that’s not really the case. It’s likely that some programs are going to end very abruptly.

Finally, I wanted to address the Observer/F4W merger. Now, I know a lot of people over the past couple years have become subscribers to both services, so there’s nothing particularly jarring about this other than more Dave audio, which I’m sure everyone will be excited by.

As for people that have been longtime Observer readers but are now quickly being introduced to F4W, or people that read the Observer website but not F4W, let me tell you there’s tons of great stuff for you to check out at this site. With Dave on board as well, the product is a ridiculously good deal.

The highlight, in my opinion, of the F4W website, has been the Bryan and Vinny audio shows. If you’re looking for a first destination for audio content, I think that’s your ticket. Bryan and Vinny are a pair of friends who chat and bullshit about wrestling shows. It’s a fun and completely relatable show that I think you’ll enjoy a lot.

From there, you’ve got all sorts of other great audio. Each of the other shows has a different theme, including old school wrestling, Japanese wrestling, MMA, independent wrestling and more. There’s really a ton of stuff here on top of the availability of the two newsletters and the board. Okay, so maybe you should just avoid the board, but the rest of the stuff is great. I highly recommend to everyone reading this that you give a subscription a try. You can send me a nasty e-mail if you’re disappointed, but I don’t think you will be.

As for me, my inclination is that two audio shows, two newsletters and two web reports all addressing the same TV show on the same site is simply too much. So I think it’s more likely than not that at some point over the next couple months I’m going to stop doing these reports. I wanted to give people a heads up on that, although I’ll reevaluate in the coming weeks.


Blogger Patrick said...


12:36 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Perhaps I'm missing something (it's been known to happen), but since when can you hear a person's ring tone when you call them? THEY hear the ring tone, but you just hear the standard ringing sound in the headset; it doesn't transmit their ring tone back over the phone line.

So when Vince called one of the contestants, how we he magically able to hear their DX ring tone?

Also, Jericho had one of the worst bloopers in recent memory. Apparently for some reason he wasn't sure what he and Flair were going to do right after Flair came out and they had the stare down, so he attempted to quietly cue Flair. Unfortunately, like a doofus he had raised the microphone to his lips before giving the cue, so you could CLEARLY hear him say to Flair, "You're going to grab it, right?" in a normal voice before beginning to speak in his wrestler voice, leading of course to Flair grabbing the microphone.

3:51 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Oh, other intentional comedy: Last week I got a kick out of them transmitting the tones as they dialed, which is a big no-no because people can figure out the number from them. So this week they learned their lesson and muted the tones as they dialed. Apparently the camera people didn't get the memo though, since they kept zooming in on the large-buttoned phone as Vince dialed, often allowing you to see the entire number being dialed.

3:54 AM  
Anonymous tyson kaethler said...

as a dedicated free-loader for years, this is truly destroying.

I basically enjoy 2 things late Monday/early Tuesday: Todd's Raw Report, and the Bryan and Vinny free show.

Today, there is no Bryan and Vinny show, and now I hear Todd may step down as well.


5:12 AM  
Anonymous mcory said...

My nephew is completely into the million dollar giveaway. He thinks it is the greatest angle in wrestling history. Every time Vince finished dialing, I would call him. He truly thought it was Vince the first time but got more and more annoyed as the night went on. Ah, comedy.

5:23 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

I'm always a little disappointed with Jericho. At some point, I should stop expecting his work, his promos, his programs, his character development to be any more than it is. I have good feelings for him; I want to really like him, but inherently he always feels like a wrestling character to me as opposed to a real person.

Of course, who they should have turned was Shawn, and a few years ago.

6:46 AM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

Perhaps I'm missing something (it's been known to happen), but since when can you hear a person's ring tone when you call them?

Verizon has a ringback tones service, where you can set a ringtone to be heard when people call you.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Mean Dean, thanks for letting me know about the ringback tones service. I hadn't heard of that before and so thought it indicated some funny business (which wouldn't be a surprise, since it came out last week that they pre-called all the winners before Raw went on the air).

Jim, I agree with you 100% with Jericho. I used to be a big fan, but his return has been a big flop. I respected him for leaving the business to do something and was kind of disappointed when he decided to come back, but I thought it would still be fun to see him in WWE again. Well, it hasn't been much fun. He looks like a dork, he's not connecting with the crowd, and his mistake yesterday was beyond amateurish. I wish he'd never come back to wrestling.

3:19 PM  
Blogger DW said...

You call Raw entertainment? Boring foolishness. The EgoTriple H show is just getting worse.

3:54 PM  
Anonymous CF Kane said...

I wondered what that silent back & forth between Flair & Jericho was...I'm glad somebody was able to point that out. I'm curious as to why they gave away a Jericho/HHH match like that; I know that the feud is with Michaels, but down the road, isn't Hunter going to have to face somebody else? That at least would have been a fresh matchup. I must say, I had no idea who that guy was beating up HHH..Cade looks a bit odd, perhaps he's a dime short on his juice box this week. An odd guy to put into this, but I guess there wasn't anybody else to help Jericho, so Cade's it. We'll see. I did like Jericho's look of sly bemusement at the end of the show.
Todd, if you do decide to give up the review, let me tell you that I've always enjoyed your writing on this site, and I'm very pleased for you that you've been able to accomplish so much in the last couple of years. Good luck to you, sir.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I appreciate the kind words from people. Nothing has been finalized or written in stone. I just wanted to give a heads up so there would be no surprises in the future.

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Don't leave us!!!!!!!!

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I for one hope you keep doing the Raw recaps whether it's for the Observer or your own blog.

7:30 AM  

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