Monday, July 07, 2008

Raw Report

Date: 07/07/08 from New Orleans, LA.

The Big News: On a very weird edition of Raw, Batista earned the first PPV title shot at CM Punk.

Show Analysis:

Stephanie McMahon started the show by saying that there was chaos last week. She implored the wrestlers to come together and work as one. Stephanie’s speech fit into the theme of the show, which was all sorts of bizarre happenings with no one to steer the ship.

Vickie Guerrero was in the ring to start the show and did her “excuse me” routine. She demanded Punk come out, give back the title he stole, and apologize. Punk came out and got a nice reaction, as they wisely had him play off the heat magnet Vickie. Vickie said Edge’s world is falling apart and Punk ruined her life. Punk said that what goes around comes around and he didn’t do anything to Edge that Edge didn’t do to others.

Vickie said the difference is Edge’s opponents weren’t getting married. Punk said Vickie can find someone else, like maybe Great Khali. Vickie got out of her wheelchair to slap Punk. Punk was going to roll her out of the ring when JBL came out. JBL challenged Punk to a title match. Punk said JBL had his shot and lost.

John Cena came out and cut another really lame comedy promo about JBL making excuses. Cena is a tremendous performer but they’re testing even what he can do with this god awful material. Cena suggested he wrestle JBL for a shot at Punk. Batista joined the proceedings. He said Punk deserves to be champion, but wanted a title shot. Cena suggested a triple threat and that was agreed upon, but then Kane came out and it became a four way.

Rey Mysterio beat Santino Marella. Rey dominated most of the match, with a spinning head scissors, double foot stomp, springboard senton, 619 and splash off the top for the pin. The match wasn’t much and was basically just a showcase for Rey.

CM Punk was doing an interview backstage when all of a sudden a light fell down randomly right in front of Punk. Two workers scrambled to pick it up, and one said “we’re live, you idiot.” This was absolutely hilarious. Snitsky came in and said Punk doesn’t deserve to be champion, so Punk challenged him to a match.

Mickie James and John Cena were chatting when Kelly Kelly came in. Mickie told Cena that Kelly is now Raw’s new diva (after just being drafted from ECW to Smackdown). Cena asked Kelly how she ended up on Raw and whether Teddy Long let her out of her contract. Kelly responded, “We have contracts?” Cena turned to the camera and said “God bless America.” This was funny, but I don’t know about making fun of the fact your show makes no sense and you don’t even care.

Kelly Kelly and Mickie James beat Jillian Hall and Layla. Layla pushed Kelly off the apron, and Jillian threw her by the hair. Jillian went for the handspring elbow, but Kelly dove onto her shoulders and used a victory roll for the pin. The finish was cool.

John Cena and Cryme Tyme destroyed JBL’s limousine for comedy. Cena spray painted “JBL is poopy” on it. I remember the nWo becoming cool for spray painting all the faces. Somehow I don’t think “JBL is poopy” has the same effect. This segment went on a while and was totally pointless.

CM Punk beat Snitsky. Punk hit leg kicks. Snitsky retaliated with stomps and a bear hug. Punk hit an enzuigiri, springboard clothesline, high knee and go 2 sleep for the pin. The crowd was dead. That’s not a good sign for the new champion, but on the other hand this is Snitsky we’re talking about.

Shawn Michaels came out and accepted a match with Chris Jericho. Jericho and Lance Cade joined him. Jericho said Michaels is stupid because he continues to fight on despite serious injuries. Jericho said this makes Michaels the injured legend, but he’ll become a forgotten martyr. Michaels responded that Jericho wants to be him, but no matter what he does he can never be Michaels.

Kofi Kingston beat Charlie Haas. Haas got in a little offense with punches and kicks. Kingston won with the springboard crossbody, high leg drop, and trouble in paradise. After the match, Paul Burchill jumped Kofi Kingston. So yeah, the Intercontinental Title is officially a jobber title. Then they cut to Batista warming up backstage, when a fan ran in front of him and did Batista’s gun pose. Batista smiled incredulously as security chased away this fan.

Batista won a four way over Kane, JBL and John Cena. Batista gave JBL a spine buster, and Kane gave Batista a choke slam. Cena went for the FU on Kane, but JBL kicked Cena in the head. Cena hit the FU on Batista but JBL broke up the pin. Cena went for the five knuckle shuffle on JBL, but Kane cut him off with a clothesline. Cena got the STFU on JBL but Kane broke it. JBL whipped Cena into the steps on the outside. Back in the ring Kane missed a clothesline off the top and Batista speared him for the pin.

After the match, Kane threw a temper tantrum. He repeatedly yelled out, “Is he alive or dead?” Presumably he wants to know if Vince survived the accident, which I guess makes him a prime suspect if you care about that angle. Kane started beating up production people. He dragged Michael Cole into the ring and had Cole up for the choke slam when Jerry Lawler broke it with a chop block. Kane attacked Lawler to end the show.

Final Thoughts:

This was a really bizarre show, and not a good one. It felt like they had no confidence in the new direction of Raw, so they threw out every desperate, crazy idea they could come up with to grab people’s attention. That’s not exactly a good formula for long term business success. Half this stuff was so off the wall I have no idea what to say about it.


Blogger Patrick said...

Even when Vince isn't on the show, the whole show is Vince centric but in a subtle way. I got the impression that Raw is "falling apart" without Vince there to steer the ship. A bad time for this angle when you are trying to display a new champion.

12:28 AM  
Anonymous the masterbater said...

I got something to say, Charlie Haas is still in the WWE???

5:45 AM  
Anonymous #1 HHH Hater said...

Hey Todd, just wanted to ask what would be the difference on this new Ric Flair DVD and the one that came out awhile back the Ultimate Ric Flair DVD?

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Punk vs Snitsky gave me flashbacks to Ron Simmons vs The Barbarian.

Never good to have your champ face a total job guy so early in his reign.

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

any chance Kane's meltdown has anything to do with Katie Vick? lol

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looked like Batista hurt his arm at the end of the match.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

This was the previous Ric Flair DVD set:

Harley Race Starrcade 11/24/83
Dusty Rhodes Starrcade 11/28/85
Barry Windham World Wide Wrestling 01/20/87
Ricky Steamboat Clash of the Champions 04/02/89
Ricky Steamboat WrestleWar (05/07/89)
Terry Funk I Quit Match Clash of the Champions 11/15/89
Royal Rumble 01/19/92
Sting Clash of the Champions06/23/94
Pete Sanchez 3/1/76

This is the new one:

Mid Atlantic 8-18-82 Jack Brisco
World Class 8-24-82 Kerry Von Erich
Mid Atlantic 8-31-83 Harley Race
World Wide Wrestling 12-15-85
w/Arn Anderson & Ole Anderson vs. Dusty Rhodes, Magnum TA, & Manny Fernandez
Clash of the Champions 3-27-88
Great American Bash 7-23-89
Terry Funk
10-28-91 "Rowdy" Roddy Piper
Spring Stampede 4-17-94 Ricky Steamboat
Taboo Tuesday 11-1-05 Triple H
Wrestlemania 24 3-30-08 Shawn Michaels

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you think of the Ric Flair DVD is it worth the purchase?

5:40 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Yes. I pretty much reflexively buy WWE historical DVDs because they're almost universally great and the new Flair set is no exception. Really good documentary and a bunch of fun matches too.

11:18 PM  

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