Tuesday, March 10, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 03/09/09 from Jacksonville, FL.

The Big News: Raw was headlined by a reenactment of Friday the 13th Part XII: Hunter’s Revenge.

Show Analysis:

Shawn Michaels came out to start the show. He put over the streak, but said he’s done well at WrestleMania himself. He said he respects Undertaker but isn’t afraid of him, and that nothing lasts forever. An Undertaker video played and Undertaker appeared behind Michaels. Michaels realized without even turning around.

Undertaker said Michaels’ arrogance has clouded his judgment and that he will fall. Michaels responded that he shouldn’t have to qualify to wrestle anyone at Mania, and that he can’t wait. Undertaker said Michaels is dreaming and he should worry about his soul. He added that Michaels should be careful what he wishes for because he will “rest.” At that point, Michaels interjected and said he will rest comfortably knowing he did the impossible. He said Undertaker has never beaten him and he never will. This was a good segment.

JBL won the Intercontinental Title from CM Punk. Punk got a big reaction. They said JBL has big plans for Mania, so apparently some angle is coming. Punk hit a high knee and tope. JBL responded with a yakuza kick and fall away slam. Punk made his comeback with a springboard clothesline, high knee and bulldog. He went for the GTS, but JBL raked his eyes and hit the clothesline from hell for the pin. Backstage, JBL agreed to do something for Vickie Guerrero in return for this title shot, although it wasn’t specified what that will be.

Randy Orton and his wife were shown at their home in St. Louis, and they announced HHH would be wrestling Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase in a handicap match at the close of the show. Have you figured out the ending to the show yet? They sold that HHH received one of the worst beatings in years on Smackdown, but apparently he only needed three days to recover. Orton said that he will keep taking a little out of HHH, leaving just enough so he can defend the title at Mania.

Maryse beat Melina. The Raw and Smackdown women were at ringside. Melina hit a Thesz press off the ropes, punches, and dropped her knees on Maryse’s abdomen. However, she charged into the corner and missed, allowing Maryse to cover her for the pin. This was much better than most recent Melina matches. There was a big brawl after the match with the faces clearing the ring. They announced a 25 woman battle royal at Mania with women from Raw, Smackdown, ECW and the past. The winner will be crowned Miss WrestleMania. I always thought that was Rockin’ Robin.

Edge and Big Show had a contract signing. Edge talked about attending WrestleMania VI. He said that Show is better than Warrior and he is better than Hogan, so they should make history and have an even bigger classic. Show agreed, and they shook hands. John Cena then came out and interrupted.

Vickie said she invited Cena and that it was only fair that he compete for the title at Mania. Cena said it was time to tell the truth. Vickie begged him not to, but instead of saying that Show was fooling around with Vickie he said that he was in love with Vickie. Everyone was stunned. Edge told Vickie to tear up the contract, but she wouldn’t do it.

At this point, I loved the segment. I loved how the insincere heels were being so polite to each other only to have the face come out and screw everything up for them. I loved how they planted all the seeds so the fans would realize Cena knew about Vickie and Show, but trusted the fans’ intelligence enough that they didn’t have to spell it out.

I loved the idea of Cena in the coming weeks simultaneously tormenting Vickie by holding this secret over her head and tormenting Edge, who thinks he may be hooking up with his wife. And I loved the idea of building up that tension until Edge explodes and finally finds out. It seemed like a fun angle that they could easily carry all the way through to a WrestleMania climax.
Well, that all ended in a hurry. On the entry way, Cena just admitted that he didn’t love Vickie, and instead showed video of Show and Vickie talking about their affair and making out. Needless to say, I absolutely hated this turn. They had an angle they could have really milked, and they paid it off in about a minute and a half. They implicitly acknowledged they have no faith in their fans’ ability to understand an angle that they don’t spell out in the most explicit terms.

Moreover, the turn of events made little sense. Why would Cena just spill this information out, when he could continue to hold it over Vickie’s head until very close to WrestleMania? And why wouldn’t Vickie just tear up the contract after he threw away his leverage?

Kofi Kingston beat Chris Jericho in a Money in the Bank qualifier. Jerry Lawler was again really digging into Jericho. Kingston hit a springboard crossbody and side Ghanan leg sweep. He set up for the high double leg drop, but Jericho stopped him and went for the Walls. Kingston flipped out, but Jericho cut him off with an enzuigiri. Kingston fought back with a high double leg drop but Jericho blocked trouble in paradise and applied the Walls.

Ric Flair then came out to distract Jericho. That allowed Kingston to hit trouble in paradise for the pin. That means Money in the Bank is Kane, Mark Henry, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston, CM Punk and (SPOILER) Christian. I hope those guys can pull it off, because they’re missing some ring generals to hold the match together.

Orton in St. Louis said he wasn’t at Raw not because he is afraid of HHH but because he might lose control of himself and take out HHH before Mania. Jericho backstage said Flair took away his WrestleMania moment, so he challenged Flair to un-retire and wrestle him next week on Raw. I don’t see that happening. Hopefully Flair doesn’t return at all. I don’t think it would add many buys, and it would just make Flair look like a liar after the send-off they gave him last year.

They announced the newest member of the Hall of Fame. The class of 2009 is now Steve Austin, Bill Watts, the Funks, Ricky Steamboat and Koko B. Ware. That’s sort of like a baseball hall of fame class of Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken Jr., Wade Boggs, Greg Maddux and Orlando Merced. Or a basketball hall of fame class of Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Jason Kidd, Kobe Bryant and Ricky Davis. Honky Tonk Man is inducting Koko.

Rey Mysterio, Christian and Finlay beat Kane, Miz and John Morrison. The heels worked over Christian, who tagged Finlay. Finlay came in with a bunch of clotheslines and tagged Rey. Rey landed a springboard senton, springboard crossbody and top rope huracanrana. He set up for the 619 but Kane caught him by the throat. Finlay and Christian used a double clothesline to deposit Kane out of the ring and Rey hit the 619 and west coast pop on Morrison for the pin. This was a very fun little match.

Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes were in the ring for the main event. HHH’s music played twice but of course he didn’t come out. Orton cut a promo on HHH in St. Louis when someone knocked on the door. Orton had his wife get the door only to realize it was of course HHH. If you want to build around a swerve, the swerve shouldn’t be obvious in the first five minutes of the show. Things got worse from there, as the segment quickly degenerated into total camp.

HHH broke down the door with a sledgehammer, looking absolutely ridiculous with his leather jacket in a suburban setting. He chased after Orton in the house, which was total comedy. Orton seemingly got away, so HHH lurked around looking for Orton like in a horror movie. From time to time someone would pop out of their hiding place screaming in terror.

Eventually it became obvious that Orton was under the stairs, but for some reason despite Orton making multiple noises HHH couldn’t figure it out so Orton jumped him from behind. HHH beat up Orton and threw him through the front window of Orton’s house. Burglars be aware that the Ortons use light, breakaway glass in their home. Oh well. HHH was beating up Orton on his front lawn when police arrived. Orton ordered them to throw AJ Styles in jail, and the show ended with a zoom in on HHH in the police car like an episode of Cops. I don’t know how anyone is supposed to take this angle seriously after this segment.

Final Thoughts:

I thought the vast majority of the show was good to very good. Unfortunately, of the angles they shot for the three biggest angles, I thought one was poorly conceived and the other was an outright disaster. I enjoyed the two hours, but I was less interested in Mania in the end, and significantly less interested in the top match.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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5:39 AM  
Anonymous The Masterbater said...

Koko B. Ware?? I mean no Rick Rude, No Savage in the Hall of Fame??? I don't get it. Who is next, The Young Stallions in the Hall of Fame? I remember him being a jobber to the stars. Not trying to criticize Koko but I mean there are so many more wrestlers better than him. He hasn't event won a belt in the WWE!! I DON'T GET IT!!

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Is SD Jones is the hall? He was a much better jobber than Koko was. I was hoping they would have had Frankie induct him. Maybe Koko is going into a new "Jobber Wing" of the hall, like MLB has the broadcasters wing of the hall. We can see such "stars" as Koko, SD Jones, Rene Goulet, Iron Mike Sharpe, & Jamie Noble. I like it.

Was that really Randy's wife? I thought it was a mannequin.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The truth is they are really inducting Frankie but he wouldn't go in without Koko so...

Koko as a Hall of Famer is definitely a head scratcher. Did he catch Vince McMahon doing something on the security camera?

The last segment of the show with HHH was beyond words. I mean HHH had Randy's wife at his feet so why not just give her a pedigree and get it over with? It was just all too silly. Does anybody really have any doubt wh ois going to win between HHH and Orton?

7:40 AM  
Anonymous #1 HHH Hater said...

Maybe since Koko is in the Hall of Fame maybe we will see his song "Piledriver" win a Grammy!

8:04 AM  
Anonymous SteRDLK said...

This weeks Raw spoilt all the good week they had done since the Royal Rumble. I absolutely hated it.

It would have been so much better Triple H hadnt come out as "somebody" had attacked him and smashed his head through a car door, leaving him in a pool of blood as HHH did to HBK.

Or, why didnt HHH just beat up the people in Ortons house until they told him where Orton was? It puts HHH over as more of a man on a mission rather than some horror movie ripoff. Rubbish. Absolute rubbish.

I also hated that they basically repeated the summer angle of Edge and Vickie, reversed their roles and replaced HHH with Big Show. Are the fans really that dumb that they dont remember that? Giving the payoff in seconds is beyond belief. Why? It doesnt achieve anything, and Vickie should have ripped up the contract as you said. What reason would she have not to? What crap. The ONLY positive is Edge is free of this crappy angle at last, and can finally be Edge again rather than Vickies personal bitch.

The 6 man tag could have been so much more given like 5 minutes more, but I guess that Triple H walking around Ortons house like a tool is much more entertaining.

I didnt see the point of Jericho being in a MITB qualifier as everybody knew he wouldnt win. It would have been better had Jericho said "I dont want to be in a MITB match at WrestleMania, I want to face Edge/HHH for the title as I am superstar of the year". This would of course bring Naitch out, and here he says "I have a surprise for you next week Chris". Jericho would chase Naitch, but is attacked by a mystery person (yep similar to the HHH angle I invented at the top)

A divas battle royal? Who really wants to see a battle royal? Wrestlemania is supposed to be about the biggest matches featuring the biggest wrestlers on the biggest stage. That of course would, currently, be Maryse vs Melina. Apparently they cant give us a simple one on one angle without fucking up.

That of course excludes the HBK vs Undertaker match. The promos last night were absolutely fantastic, best Taker promo in years, you forget how good he is. HBK, although i dont like him, continues to grow on me due to some fantastic promos week in week out. If I end up ordering WrestleMania, it will be for this match only. The other stories have been ruined by ridiculously shit booking.

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Randy Pillman-Stone Cold Triple H angle was completely stupid.

--Denis Gorman

11:46 AM  
Blogger AKFooFighter said...

I believe I have the sure-fire way to liven up the WM25 card to heights never reached...How about an acting challenge/contest between Orton's "wife"/former Playboy model Laura Croft and Stone Cold Steph Levesque?

What outstanding talent.

Maybe Rourke could work the challenge as the guest judge. Who's with me?


- Matt in Anchorage

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Orton can run up and assualt Triple H while he is in cuffs and not get arrested? The glass? The bad acting by his "wife"..Its a good thing she can take off her clothes cause she cant act...God I want those minutes of my life back...

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody catch Jonathan Coachman on ESPN? Is that his new gig or were they just giving him a tryout?

10:05 PM  
Blogger Max said...

Coachman is full-time at ESPN. And probably happy as a kid in a candy store to get away from the wrestling nonsense.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

I'm watching Smackdown on DVR, and they are replaying the HHH/Orton angle like it was the Zapruder film. It's aging like a fine bottle of Mad Dog 20/20.

The best way to sum it up is to paraphrase a quote from a classic movie:

"Everyone in this room is now dumber for having seen it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

8:29 AM  

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