Monday, August 04, 2008

WWE Raw Report

Date: 08/04/08 from Knoxville, TN.

The Big News: JBL earned a title shot against CM Punk at SummerSlam, while Batista and John Cena captured the tag team titles.

Show Analysis:

Mike Adamle appeared on the stage to start the show. He had reading glasses on so he could consult and read off the script from time to time. That certainly isn’t a great vote of confidence in him. He was booed and there were chants of “you suck.” Adamle talked about a man who wasn’t taken seriously and wasn’t doing a good job. But he was referring to Ronald Reagan, who he claimed turned out to be one of the best presidents.

Adamle noted that sometimes first impressions can be deceiving. He mentioned how he misidentified Jeff Hardy as Jeff Harvey. Adamle noted that everyone makes mistakes but the important thing is that we grow from them. He wants an opportunity, and announced there would be three title matches on Raw including Batista and John Cena vs. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase.

JBL came out. He congratulated Adamle and said that Adamle is a born winner. JBL then lobbied for a title shot against CM Punk at SummerSlam. Chris Jericho interrupted and wanted the title shot himself. They argued about it, and Adamle ended up making JBL and Jericho vs. Punk. If Jericho or JBL won, that individual would get a title shot. If Punk won, neither would get a title shot. If the ten minute time limit expired, there would be a triple threat.

This segment was fine as a self-contained segment, but it didn’t portend particularly well for Adamle’s future as GM. The gimmick of an incompetent GM subtly undermines the programs you are putting together, and the reality of an incompetent guy playing GM is even worse. But for a first week performance, this definitely could have been worse.

Kofi Kingston beat Paul Burchill to retain the Intercontinental title. Katie Lea provided a distraction, and Paul hit stomps and a neck breaker. Kingston retaliated with kicks, a springboard crossbody, the side Ghanan leg sweep, the high knee drop and trouble in paradise for the pin.

I noticed during this match that Michael Cole faithfully follows Vince McMahon’s edict and calls very few moves. It seemed like Jerry Lawler was calling as many moves as Cole. Michael Cole also got in his reference to John Cena as the master of the pound and ground. Well, at least he didn’t call him the master of the pray and lay.

Mickie James beat Katie Lea to retain the women’s title. James hit a Thesz press of the apron, punches, a huracanrana, elbows and a neck breaker. Katie used a jaw breaker and northern lights suplex for a near fall. However, James then hit the implant DDT for the pin. This result was kind of surprising given they seemed to have been grooming Katie for the women’s title and she has lost to Mickie a number of times now. Moreover, Mickie dominated the match.

Beth Phoenix jumped Mickie after the match and hit the glam slam. Santino came out to applaud and exchanged ass grabs with Beth. They then went to Adamle’s office, and asked for title shots at SummerSlam. Adamle said there was only room for one of those matches, and they would have to decide which.

Santino said he wanted what Beth wanted, to see him as the Intercontinental champion. Beth said she didn’t want that, and wanted a women’s title match. Santino laughed and said he didn’t want to be women’s champion. Adamle ended up making Kofi and Mickie vs. Santino and Beth for both titles in a winner take all match. This was a very funny segment. Beth’s facial expressions are tremendous. She was hilarious in reacting to Santino.

Batista and Cena cut promos backstage. Batista said he liked the idea of a title match, but didn’t like teaming with Cena. He said he would rather compete for the world title. He told Cena to stay out of his way. Cena, meanwhile, talked about how good Batista is. He said that one of them needs to step up and prove who is best. As for the night, Cena felt they would either win or lose and tear each other to pieces. Cena hoped for victory.

They aired a “WWE.com exclusive” on television with Jamie Noble asking Layla out. Layla said Noble’s always getting his butt whipped and she doesn’t associate with losers. Layla was then dancing in the ring, and William Regal interrupted her. You can most certainly guess what happened next. Noble came out and had a tremendous pull-apart brawl with Regal. This was one of the better pull-apart brawls you will ever see, and they didn’t even have a previous issue to get it over.

JBL and Chris Jericho defeated CM Punk. This was like one of those WWE triple threats where one guy lies on the outside for minutes on end while the other two fight in the ring. Jericho and JBL double teamed Punk early, but Punk threw Jericho over the top. JBL hit a fall away slam, punches, kicks and a swinging neck breaker. JBL went after Jericho, but Jericho threw him into the steps.

Jericho hit a fist drop off the second rope, body slam and applied the abdominal stretch on Punk. JBL came in and hit a clothesline on Punk, but Jericho broke up the pin. Jericho hit a lionsault on Punk but JBL broke up the pin. JBL and Jericho traded blows, and Punk gave JBL a clothesline off the top. Punk hit a high knee on Jericho and the go 2 sleep on JBL, but Jericho broke up the pin on JBL.

Punk went for go 2 sleep on Jericho, but Jericho raked the eyes and applied the Walls. JBL broke that up. Jericho snapped JBL’s neck over the ropes, but JBL fell back on Punk and scored the pin in the last second of the ten minutes. The finish was effective for what they were trying to do, but it felt too contrived to me. As for the match itself, it was a fun match and the crowd really got behind Punk.

Shawn Michaels did a satellite interview. He acknowledged that his eye is damaged, but said a combination of injuries have kept him out including his ribs, knees and back. He said he will feel it the rest of his life. He announced that he will have a reevaluation with doctors August 15 and publicly declare his future at SummerSlam. He said that he will heed the advice of doctors and teased retirement.

This was a very smart move by WWE. The announcement of Michaels’ future adds intrigue to SummerSlam while allowing them to save the Jericho vs. Michaels match for later in a way that doesn’t undermine the nature of the storyline.

Kane beat Matt Striker. Striker before the match was happy about the opportunity to finally get to wrestle. Of course, it didn’t turn out so well for him. Kane won with a clothesline off the top and choke slam. Kane was presented like a face and cheered in this segment. After the match Kane said he is in a better place because “he’s not alive, he’s dead.” He looked at the bag. Backstage, Mike Adamle told Kelly Kelly that next week Kane will have to reveal what is in the bag or he will take it from Kane.

Batista and John Cena beat Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase to win the tag team titles. Batista and Cena were dominant early. Batista looks really agile and athletic these days relative to when he had a bigger physique. He might want to lose even more weight. He can afford to lose more muscle mass and still look very big, and it will likely extend his career and allow him to have better matches.

The heels got the heat on Cena with a Cody DDT and dropkick and DiBiase fist drop and double ax handle off the ropes. Cena fought back and tagged in Batista by slapping him. They teased a blow up, but Batista instead went into the ring with a clothesline, back drop, spine buster and spear. Cena cleared the ring and Batista scored the pin with the Batista bomb. Batista and Cena took turns raising the belts after the match to milk the alternate crowd reactions. It was actually pretty even with both guys cheered more and some scattered boos. It certainly wasn’t Nate Quarry/Kalib Starnes.

Final Thoughts:

This was a good show that was entertaining and built SummerSlam well. I went heavy with commentary in the report so there’s not a lot to add here.

3 Comments:

Anonymous the masterbater said...

Seriously, how many times are they going to do the angle where both rivals win the tag team belts? I mean it is getting old now.

6:15 AM  
Blogger DW said...

It's just a sign of the incompetence and lack of talent by the creative team. They've done this before, undermining a good wrestler or tag team so they can build a current storyline (the Cena vs Batista angle). There are many ways to do this without trashing a good, upcoming team. Besides, Cena already did an FU on both DiBiase and Rhodes at the same time - there's no way it would be believable for the tag champs to win. It's all nonsense, aimed at the mindless. The WWE never learns... A talented creative team could do better.

And to masterbater's point, it's just getting old....

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am loving the Santino/Phoenix angle. They are gold together. Phoenix has shown more charisma the past two weeks than she did during her previous time in the WWE.

5:21 PM  

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