Monday, February 09, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 02/09/09 from Oakland, CA.

The Big News: No Way Out is this Sunday, and I’ve got a feeling Mike Knox is taking home the title.

Show Analysis:

Ric Flair came out to start the show. He said he misses the fans, but has no regrets. Chris Jericho interrupted, saying he wouldn’t let Flair waste any more airtime. They showed footage of Flair and Jericho hugging at Flair’s farewell last year, and Jericho said if he knew Flair would sell out to every two bit promoter in America he would have slapped him instead. Flair called Jericho a condescending punk and said he would never wrestle again. Jericho replied that Flair always has to be in the spotlight. Flair conceded that, because he likes meeting the fans, telling stories and being the Nature Boy.

Jericho said he is a locker room leader and the wrestlers respect him more than Flair. Jericho asserted that Flair will return because he can’t leave with his dignity. Jericho said that the point of the Wrestler is that the fans don’t really care. Jericho told Flair to stop letting the fans leech off him. Flair refused. Jericho then told Flair to do his tricks for the audience. Flair punched him and Jericho walked off. This was a great segment. Both men did a tremendous job and the issues involved felt very real and believable.

Jillian Hall and Beth Phoenix beat Kelly Kelly and Melina. Melina dominated the entirety of the brief match before Rosa interfered and Beth hit the glam slam for the pin. This was one of those matches that are so brief it is counterproductive. Beth and Melina will meet in a women’s title rematch next week.

Randy Orton came out with Legacy. Orton said that nobody can stand in his way. He claimed that he wasn’t going to punk Stephanie McMahon last week, but rather was just showing what could have happened if he wanted it to happen. Orton said that he wants Stephanie around so he can see her look when he takes out another member of her family. He closed by saying that the Undertaker won’t be able to beat him, so what chance does Shane have?

Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes beat Cryme Tyme. The heels worked over Shad briefly. Shad tagged JTG, who came in with clotheslines. He hit a face buster that is labeled the mug shot. However, he was then distracted by DiBiase. That allowed Rhodes to hit the roll of the dice for the pin.

Chris Jericho, Kane and Mike Knox beat John Cena, Kofi Kingston and Rey Mysterio. Kofi hit a frog crossbody and high double leg drop on Kane. Cena gave Knox shoulder blocks, a Cena slam and a five knuckle shuffle. Kane broke up an FU attempt with a punch and the heels worked over Cena. Jericho hit a DDT and Kane hit a side slam before Cena gave Kane the FU and made the tag. Rey came in with a springboard senton, huracanrana and bulldog on Jericho. Rey tagged Kofi, who went for a springboard but fell into a botched code breaker for the pin. This was a fun match, although the finish took it down a little.

Mark Henry beat Shawn Michaels via DQ. This was JBL’s “tune-up” for Michaels. Within seconds a chair ended up in the ring and there was a DQ. Michaels sent Henry’s face into the chair with the superkick. JBL after the match told Michaels to bring his wife to No Way Out so she can see Michaels lose it all. This match was so short they might as well not have bothered.

CM Punk retained the Intercontinental title over William Regal in another way too short match. Regal used some punches, elbows and hit an exploder before he was caught with the GTS out of nowhere for the pin.

Undertaker beat Randy Orton via DQ. Undertaker clotheslined Orton over the top. Orton came back with a power slam, but Undertaker took over with snake eyes, a big boot and leg drop. He went for the choke slam, but Orton escaped. Orton went for the RKO but Undertaker escaped. Undertaker then had Orton up for the tombstone, at which point Priceless ran in for the DQ. They beat up Undertaker three-on-one until Shane McMahon made the save. Shane helped clean house with Undertaker, and then he gave DiBiase the Van Terminator.

Final Thoughts:

This was a strong show with good build and angles. Chris Jericho, Ric Flair and Randy Orton in particular really held their own. The one big negative, and this has been true of Raw for ages but it really stuck out to me today, is that they have these matches that are way, way too short. They would be better off just booking one or two less segments, and using that time to add to all the other matches on the show. Every match doesn’t need to go ten minutes, obviously. But when you have four matches on one show that go a collective eight minutes, matches in general come across like pointless contrivances. It makes it harder to sell pay-per-views.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get the feeling Vince was talking to Flair through Jericho's promo (i.e.: the talk about working for every Tom, Dick & Harry indy trash promoter out there, etc.)

The Undertaker helping out Shane at first was stupid, but then again, it kind of made sence too since they have a storyline history together (the Corporate Minestry)

12:15 AM  
Blogger AKFooFighter said...

Jericho and the Nature Boy = gold, Jerry, gold.

The rest of the show = yuck.

That is all.

- Matt in Anchorage

P.S. - What are the chances we're headed towards Orton-HHH at WM25? Is Paul going to save his inlaws' good name?

How creatively uncreative.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Decent show. I think it would have been better had the show ended with an undertaker beatdown. It's been a while since we have seen a heel standing over a fallen face.

p.s. tood, I'm curious. Since you have been reviewing raw, what has been your favorite episode?

10:57 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Hmmm, that's a tough call right off the top of my head. My favorite Raws of all time likely came during 1997 or 2000. Since I've been reviewing, they had a great period in 2004 where they had some tremendous matches with Michaels, Benoit and HHH week in and week out. Probably something in there.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Eddie T. said...

Todd, I definitely think 2000 was the best year for WWE, not just financially. Then when a certain someone stepped in as head writer, things went south. The Rock/Triple H feud was huge money not just business-wise, but execution-wise for me, and Austin's return at the time was great!

I was wondering what your thought on Jim Wilson are? More precisely, how do you think he would have felt about today's wrestling business? He's a key historical figure, albeit a very controversial one.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I thought Jim Wilson's book was absolutely fantastic, and I recommend it to everyone. As far as his thoughts on the current product, he was so disillusioned decades ago with the business that I doubt he would have much in the way of knowledge of or thoughts about the current product. I think it was likely off his radar at the time of his passing.

2:19 PM  

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