Tuesday, February 03, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 02/02/09 from St. Louis, MO.

The Big News: The quality of Raw did a 180 this week.

Show Analysis:

I’m feeling under the weather so this is going to be relatively bare bones. Shane McMahon came out to start the show. He didn’t get much of a reaction but at least he wasn’t booed in Randy Orton’s hometown. Shane said that Orton’s legal team approached him last week after Raw and wanted a no holds barred match between Shane and Orton at No Way Out. Shane agreed. He said he would take Orton out so that Orton won’t be able to compete at No Way Out.

Randy Orton came out to cheers and RKO chants. He said that he let Orton beat him up last week. He told Legacy not to fight back because the wrestlers would jump in and it would be 20 on 3. At No Way Out he said he will be able to do whatever he wants to Shane without consequences. Legacy tried to jump Shane but he fought them off with a Singapore cane. This was an effective opening segment.

William Regal and Layla beat CM Punk and Mickie James. Layla distracted Punk, but Mickie took her out. That gave Regal the chance to knock Punk off the apron to the floor and as Punk was reentering the ring he got a running knee to the head for the pin. Next week Regal and Punk will wrestle in a title rematch.

Cryme Tyme beat Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase via DQ for intent to double team. Seriously. The heels worked over JTG, who tagged Shad. Shad came in with a back drop, scoop slam and money money elbow. But Priceless was about to double team Shad, so they were disqualified. It’s nowhere to near the worst finish in Raw history because it did no harm, but this was most certainly among the dumbest. DiBiase and Rhodes gave Shad a double team implant DDT.

They ran a video package on Mickey Rourke. They showed Rourke saying that he wouldn’t wrestle Chris Jericho. Jericho came to the ring and said he respects Rourke for his acting and the fact he backed out of the match with Jericho in a cowardly fashion. Jericho said that the Wrestler is flawed because it focuses on legends hanging around for one last paycheck. He said the Ram character was based on Ric Flair. He bashed Flair for doing autograph shows in high school gyms and tell all interviews to low rent websites. How dare he talk that way about High Spots! He said these Hall of Famers should have their status revoked.

Cena interrupted Jericho, and called Jericho an idiot. He noted how Jericho is reprimanding wrestlers for holding on to their past when he is always bringing up being the first undisputed champion. Cena said Jericho is always violating things Cena respects and believes in, and that he would shut up Jericho in the main event of Raw.

This was an excellent segment. Jericho again cut a great promo. He’s so good at finding points about faces to criticize that feel very real but don’t bury the face and instead make you want to see Jericho get his. If I had one point of criticism it’s saying the Wrestler was based on Flair, when it’s been publicly stated many times that it was based on Greg Valentine. Even if people don’t know that, logically it doesn’t make sense since at the time the screenplay was written and the movie was filmed Flair was still wrestling for WWE and hardly doing the stuff that the Ram character was doing. Ric Flair will be on Raw next week, so we’ll see where they go with this.

Kane and Mike Knox beat Kofi Kingston and Rey Mysterio. The beard really does wonders for Knox. The heels worked on Kofi with a Knox big boot and Kane side slam. Kofi hit an enzuigiri and tagged Rey. Rey came in with a springboard leg drop. Kofi went for a pescado on Knox but landed into a back breaker, which was a cool spot. In the ring Rey went for the 619 but Knox caught him. Rey fought off Knox but was caught coming into the ring by a choke slam for the pin. This had a sloppy start but settled into a good match.

Shane and Stephanie were walking backstage when they were jumped by Legacy. Legacy beat up Shane. Orton was about to punt Shane but then he saw Stephanie and decided to punt her instead. Shane dove in front of Stephanie and took the kick to his body.

Beth Phoenix beat Candice Michelle. Rosa is now labeled an intern. Uh oh. Beth hit a slingshot suplex and applied an over the shoulder back breaker. Candice hit a springboard kick for two and went for the unprettier but Beth reversed into the glam slam for the pin. Rosa threw Candice out of the ring after the match.

JBL did a performance appraisal of Shawn Michaels. JBL said he fulfilled his end of the bargain, but Michaels didn’t fulfill his end in making sure JBL was champion going into WrestleMania. Michaels said that was JBL’s fault. JBL threatened to fire Michaels and asked Michaels if he wanted that. Michaels said that he wanted to kick JBL’s teeth down his throat. JBL said if Michaels did that he would lose a job and become a deadbeat. Really?

JBL offered a deal: JBL and Michaels will wrestle at No Way Out. If Michaels wins he will get all the money he is owed over the next year, but if JBL wins he owns Michaels’ likeness and name and he will work for JBL for the rest of his life and get nothing. Michaels accepted. JBL repeatedly poked Michaels and called him broken down, and then slapped Michaels. Michaels just left.

This was pretty much the JBL/Michaels feud in a nutshell. Both men performed very well but it made absolutely no sense. See, there’s this thing called the thirteenth amendment, and slavery is not in fact legal in this country any more. Even if you enter into a bet and lose it, a court is not going to force you to work the rest of your life for someone without pay.

Kane met with Stephanie backstage. They reached an agreement. Kane will get a spot in the Elimination Chamber and in exchange Kane’s brother the Undertaker will wrestle Randy Orton on Raw next week.

John Cena beat Chris Jericho in a good main event. Jericho brawled early and hit a bulldog and springboard dropkick. Cena used a belly to belly, Cena slam and went for the five knuckle shuffle. Jericho countered into the Walls but Cena escaped. Jericho hit a lionsault but Cena came back with the Cena slam and five knuckle. He went for the FU (now called the attitude adjuster), but Jericho escaped. Jericho went for the code breaker but Cena escaped. Cena went for the FU again but Jericho escaped into the Walls. Cena then reversed into the STFU.

Final Thoughts:

This was a much, much better show than last week. It was entertaining and built issues well.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Bob said...

Eh, I still think Shane is playing the upper-tier babyface, which doesn't fit. I thought the ending of the opening segment was terrible, with Orton planning a 3-on-1 attack on Shane but Orton's crew getting outsmarted and taking a beating.

This was followed by Michael Cole repeatedly emphasizing in the tag match that the beating Rhodes and Dibiase were dishing out was what they had wanted to do to Shane, but Shane had outsmarted them.

At least Orton finally did take Shane down, but he had to do it with a complete surprise 3-on-1 (I don't count Stephanie as a factor) attack backstage.

If Orton singlehandedly beats the holy hell out of Shane at the PPV, then the angle will have redeemed itself somewhat. If it's a competitive match and Shane either wins or Orton has to cheat to win, then I stand by my original assessment that this is out-of-control ego-based booking.

4:37 AM  
Blogger s1rweeze said...

I was amazed how they scrambled to recover from the end of last week in a way that kinda makes sense. I agree that this was much better than last week, but the DirecTV tease for this show was "What will the McMahons do next?" which tells me this type of crap definitely won't be going away anytime soon.

I know this is harped on a lot, but Michael Cole continues to be abysmal. If this is the guy they want as their voice for the next couple decades, the guy to take the torch from JR eventually, then he needs SOME kind of personality. Anytime Cole tries to get into a match, it sounds generic. The very few things that do make him unique are very annoying. I guess what I'm trying to say is... can we PLEASE get JR back on Raw?

6:13 AM  
Anonymous SteRDLK said...

Creative dug themselves a massive hole last week with the ridulous Orton/Shane angle, but they somewhat redeemed themselves this week, but it still is stupid that the only way The Legacy can beat up a 35 year old is to jump him backstage when he is talking to his sister

The first segment would have worked so much better if DiBiase and Rhodes hasn't come out, as it makes them look weak.

I love the Punk/Regal fued, it is making for some great matches on TV.

Concerning Knox' beard, it is slowly being matched by Santinos beard! Can't wait for that match!

I have to echo s1rweeze comment about Cole. He waffles on with himself constantly, and it's not like he has a guy next to him who is much better, coz King is dreadful.

All Cole ever says is "WWE.com!!!" (he said it at least five times during Cryme Tymes match) "WWE Universe!!!" "SKULL!!!" and in general is terrible.

I think it would be great if Jim Ross and Matt Striker were Raw's commentators, as both command the listener to listen to what they say, and both are incredible wrestle-smart to todays audience.

Does anybody what Kane is? Is he a face or a heel, coz the creative team don't seem to know which he is. And did I hear it right, that he phoned the Undertaker? It sounds pathetic that the characters of Kane and Undertaker use mobile phones.

6:48 AM  
Anonymous mike said...

Kane and the Undertaker's characters probably don't have cell phones. Maybe they communicated through their Facebook pages?

11:26 AM  
Blogger Timelord said...

Todd, I have to ask you - who has said the Wrestler is based on Greg Valentine? That's makes just as little sense as it being based on Ric Flair if one review I read is anything to go by.

It clearly indicates that the wrestler it's based on is Jake Roberts.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Both Darren Oronofsky and Mickey Rourke have said the character was modeled on Greg Valentine. Obviously, a lot of that is based on the look, as opposed to Valentine's career. The character also clearly has Jake Roberts and Terry Funk from Beyond the Mat thrown in.

4:37 PM  
Blogger AKFooFighter said...

I'll keep this short and sweet - it's somewhat amazing how much the show turned around from last week to this week.

I still don't think I'm going to buy WM25 on PPV, but at least I didn't hate the product as much as I did last week.

- Matt in Anchorage

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Yeah, for everybody who thought last week redeemed the Orton/Shane angle, what did you think of this week's angle? Shane and Undertaker take out all three members of Legacy, then Orton watches helplessly from the ramp and Shane beats Dibiase. Why was Orton helpless to stop Shane? Because Shane would have kicked his ass if he had tried. Seriously, that is how it was presented. Again, total ego-based booking.

9:34 PM  
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9:21 AM  

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