Monday, September 01, 2008

WWE Raw Report

Date: 09/01/08 from St. Louis, MO.

The Big News: Unforgiven is this Sunday, but Raw seemed to focus more on wrestlers who are coming and going.

Show Analysis:

They aired a graphic for Killer Kowalski to start the show. Randy Orton then came out, and belittled the champions of Raw since he left. He focused on CM Punk, who he labeled a lucky man who went from nobody to champion. Orton said that when he’s cleared to return to the ring, he’ll take the title back from Punk.

That brought out CM Punk, who knocked Orton for screwing around on his motorcycle. He called Orton jealous and pathetic. Orton had enough of that and left, bringing out JBL. JBL again called Punk a fluke and said the clothesline from hell would net him the title at Unforgiven.
Kane came out and said he has been to hell and didn’t see JBL’s clothesline. What a weird line that was. Kane said he did see Rey Mysterio in hell and Rey won’t be at Unforgiven. Batista then came out and speared everyone. This opening segment was fine. I’m all for planting the seeds for future programs, so the Orton/Punk stuff worked for me.

Kofi Kingston beat Charlie Haas. John Cena’s music hit, but it was Haas in Cena’s attire doing Cena’s routine. It was funny, and this copycat gimmick is amusing for the undercard. Haas does a good job with it. Haas went for the five knuckle shuffle but got kicked in the head. Kofi hit a dropkick, flying forearm, springboard crossbody, side Ghanan leg sweep and high double leg drop. Haas went for the FU but Kofi escaped and hit trouble in paradise for the pin.

Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase backstage were angry at Randy Orton for denigrating their title run. Orton slapped Cody. He said that they are the most talented guys in the locker room but they lost a handicap match to John Cena and Cryme Tyme stole their belts. Orton told them to make a better accounting of themselves. This seemed to be a tease for a future alliance between the three, which I think would work very well.

Mike Adamle and Teddy Long were making future plans backstage when Kane approached Adamle. Kane said Rey isn’t coming back and wanted to know why Adamle would lie and say he is. Adamle said he wasn’t lying, and that Rey has an invitation to return at Unforgiven or even on Raw. Kane said that Rey has been destroyed, but Adamle can hope.

Mark Henry won an ECW battle royal. They all ganged up on Henry, but he fought them off. He eliminated Miz and Chavo Guerrero together. He then dumped Finlay. Finally, Matt Hardy tried the twist of fate but Henry threw him over the top to the floor. This was a very rare breed of wrestling match: the battle royal squash. It certainly would suggest Henry is losing his title on Sunday.

Jamie Noble beat William Regal in a short match. Before the match, Noble said he would show Layla he has what it takes. Regal hit an exploder and used a full nelson but Noble rolled him up for the pin. It was treated as a fluke. Noble is very entertaining as a character.

Candice Michelle, Mickie James and Kelly Kelly beat Katie Lea, Beth Phoenix and Jillian Hall. Mickie hit a Thesz press off the top on Katie, but the heels gained control and worked over Mickie. Mickie tagged Candice. Candice hit a crossbody off the top, but Beth rolled through. Beth was setting Candice up, but Candice used the non-existent package for the pin. They made it a point of putting over Candice’s return big and making her the focal point of the match.

Santino beat D-Lo Brown. Before the match, Santino said that he will be the greatest Intercontinental champion of all time and debuted the Honk-a-Meter. He noted Honky Tonk Man was champion 64 weeks, and he has already been champion 2 weeks. Santino concluded that it is 62 weeks to go and he will be greatest of all time. I hope he does it. D-Lo hit a shining wizard, which Michael Cole not only referenced by name but followed with a Great Muta reference. D-Lo missed the frog splash and Santino covered for the pin.

Cryme Tyme vs. Miz and John Morrison went to a no contest. They started to brawl on the floor when Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase jumped Cryme Tyme. Cody used a DDT to send JTG into one of the tag titles, and they took back their belts. Backstage, they showed off the belts to Randy Orton, who smiled.

Kane won a 4-man battle royal. Randy Orton watched from ringside. Batista hit a spine buster on Punk and went for the Batista bomb, but Kane kicked him in the face. Punk then dumped Batista over the top. Punk eliminated JBL shortly thereafter. Kane threw Punk over the top but Punk didn’t go to the floor. Punk came back in with a springboard but got thrown back out by the throat.

They kept harping on this idea that the percentage chance of winning something is directly equal to the number of people involved, even in a game of skill. According to WWE logic, the odds of any wrestler winning a 5 person match is 20 percent and the odds of any wrestler winning a 2 person match is 50 percent. Can you imagine how stupid an NFL commentator would sound if they said at the beginning of this season that the Patriots have a 25 percent shot of winning their division?

Rey Mysterio came out after the match looking fine, which is odd given this whole angle was supposed to be about Kane committing unspeakable torture upon him. Rey hit kicks, a chop block, and a baseball slide. Kane caught him for a power bomb, but Rey sent him into the post and hit a 619. Kane caught him again for a choke slam, but Rey got out with a huracanrana that sent Kane to the floor. Kane and Rey did a great job working together here. I don’t like the feud, though, because the size differential makes Rey look so small.

The show concluded with a Chris Jericho/Shawn Michaels contract signing. They signed, and then told security to leave. Chris Jericho said he sat down his kids and told them he will never be an egomaniac like Michaels. Jericho added he won’t go easy on Michaels because of what happened to Michaels’ wife. Jericho promised to end Michaels’ career and show what happens to someone who lives like Michaels.

Michaels responded that one day he will tell his children the story about how he had to come back to look evil in the face and spit in its eye. Michaels said all the pain and suffering Jericho put on him will rain down upon Jericho. An intense Michaels said he will have no remorse and no regrets about what happens to Jericho. Michaels and Jericho were about to get into it when Lance Cade came in from behind. Michaels beat him up but Jericho escaped. This was an excellent segment, with Michaels in particular really shining.

Final Thoughts:

This was a good show. The undercard was entertaining, and featured better booking than in recent weeks. Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho again hit a home run in the final segment.
The show was kind of a downer, though, in that it accentuated all the guys who aren’t going to be around. Randy Orton did a really good job here and there is a lot for him to do when he returns. John Cena is of course a glaring absence as WWE’s most important performer. And now Shawn Michaels is out right in the middle of one of the best wrestling feuds in years.

It’s really a shame that the injuries are taking such a toll. They’ve got a lot of entertaining performers on the undercard, but they haven’t protected them in the booking so fans don’t take them seriously. That creates problems when the top guys go down. They should use the coming weeks to build some more additional stars and protect against that problem in the future.

Oh, and 27-24 Bruins!


Anonymous Ryan R said...

Yeah, these injuries really are starting to be a bother... The timing of Michaels injury is horrid, but he claims he'll work through it for the PPV, so we'll see. While obviously it would have been nice to progress this story further over the coming weeks & months, I'll take solace if they use this opportunity to give Jericho a strong rub and put him over clean at Unforgiven. His new character is fresh and interesting and I'd like to see them let him evolve it at the main event level.

That said, I hope this (the string of injuries) pushes "creative" to invest in some of their mid-carders in an effort to build future headliners. Will it happen? I doubt it, but stranger things have happened. It was nice to see them actually treat CM Punk as a *gasp* legitimate wrestler tonight. They let him more than hold his own against Orton in their verbal confrontation, and he got the one-up on him at the end of the night when he threw water in his face at ringside. On top of that, he eliminated Batista and JBL. I think that's officially the first time Punk has got anything on Big Dave. For a World Champion, it's about damn time.

Taking into account the fact that JBL, Rey and Kane are all poor choices for champion at this given time, what are the odds Punk makes it through yet ANOTHER PPV with the strap? Considering they're intending to tease Punk/Orton, I like his chances, where as I didn't think he had a shot in hell a few weeks back when they came up with this stupid match.

Anyway, great report. /rant


12:20 AM  
Anonymous the masterbater said...

I really think this is a good thing that all their talents are injured. They realize now how they need their mid carders now after squashing them and making them look like fools. This will hopefully give them a wake up call and hopefully prevents the same thing to happend again.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

all these injuries will bring about a rise in new talent? doubt it. see:smackdown/ecw. Gavin Spears, Colt Cabana and Ryan Braddock. It's been, what, two weeks? and they are already jobbers. sad.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous HHH said...

I don't think you guys understand why we have to destroy and humiliate the mid carders. So that I "The Game" can look great! Look at what happened to the last mid carder I lost to, Shelton Benjamin, he has not produced! So I, The Game, have to own everyone in the ring till I am 59 to 60 years of age! Wrestling fans have to see how great I am.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Timelord said...

Shawn's tricep injury isn't as bad as first thought. It doesn't help of course.

On pushing the mid carders - Todd, you've made an excellent point. This is what titles like the IC and the US are for. To provide those pushes. It's the reason why they can't have Santino as IC champion. One of the IC title's weakest periods was in fact when Honky was champion - especially after Mania 4.

With all the new talent coming through ECW (Bourne and Ortiz for example) they really must start pushing the secondary titles more. That way we get the new stars the chance to shine and have the ability to take on the tasks that the top shelf can't because of injury. It's sort of like a sports team that can still put on a great performance and win a game without its key players.

4:34 PM  

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