Tuesday, April 07, 2009

WWE Raw Report

Date: 04/06/09 from Houston, TX.

The Big News: Where to start? Batista made his return. The draft is next week. Vickie Guerrero is the new permanent Raw GM. And Ricky Steamboat is still great.

Show Analysis:

Randy Orton came out to start the show. He said that the sledgehammer use at WrestleMania was illegal, but that was the last we heard about that. Orton said HHH can’t beat him on his own and that he’ll take the title in a rematch. There were RKO chants. He threatened Linda and the McMahon grandchildren. Vince McMahon came out, and Orton for some reason bailed. Vince announced Legacy vs. Vince, Shane and HHH for Backlash. Vince said Orton is scared to fight without Rhodes and DiBiase and without them he is a failure. Orton challenged Vince to a match and Vince accepted.

Carlito and Primo Colon beat Miz and John Morrison in a lumberjack match to retain the unified tag titles. Primo dropkicked Morrison outside early, and the face lumberjacks attacked him rather than throwing him back in. Usually that’s a heel spot. Miz and Morrison worked over Primo briefly, but he tagged Carlito. Carlito came in with a knee lift and the roll of the dice on Miz.

They went for a superplex spot but both men fell off the top rope in different directions. Morrison then did a 450 press to the floor. Someone may be looking for a singles push. Carlito went for the back cracker but Miz slipped out and covered for two. Miz then got Carlito in electric chair position but Carlito slipped out into the back cracker for the pin. This was sloppy but they worked very hard for a TV match.

They talked up next week’s draft a ton early in the show. It’s a very hard sell as something monumental when the major stars have been working all the shows pretty much every week for months. Really, it’s kind of insulting to act like fans can’t figure that out.

Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Melina, Layla and Jillian Hall beat Maryse, Maria, Gail Kim, Natalya and Eve Torres. Jerry Lawler referenced Gail Kim as a newcomer. I’m not sure if that means he forgot she used to work for the company or if we’re supposed to forget that period. The heels worked over Melina, who tagged Mickie. Natalya gave Mickie the Alabama slam, but Mickie responded with a tornado DDT for the pin.

Ricky Steamboat, John Cena, Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy and CM Punk beat Chris Jericho, Matt Hardy, Edge, Kane and Big Show in a fun 10 man tag. They did a spot early where Jeff tagged in and the other legal man Matt quickly ran to tag out. Steamboat came in with a chop off the top rope, a dropkick and an ax handle off the top on Kane. Kane gave him a side slam and worked him over. Steamboat eventually got the tag to Punk, but the heels quickly regained the advantage on Punk.

Kane went for a choke slam, but Punk reversed with a DDT. He then made the hot tag to Jeff. Jeff used the inverted atomic drop, dropkick and whisper in the wind on Edge. He tagged Cena, who went for the FU. Show came in to stop that and Cena tagged Rey. Rey gave Edge a springboard senton and spinning head scissors. He went for the 619, but Jericho cut him off. Rey reversed and gave both Edge and Jericho the 619. Steamboat hit a crossbody off the top on Edge and Rey hit a top rope splash on Jericho for the pin.

Vickie Guerrero came out to announce that when she became the interim general manager of Raw, she was given the option to eventually stay on as the permanent GM or to return to being full time Smackdown GM. She has elected to become permanent GM of Raw. She then announced an Edge vs. John Cena title rematch for Backlash, and that the other title will be on the line in the 6 man tag. If someone on HHH’s team wins he retains and if someone on Orton’s team wins Orton will become champion.

Vickie left but then returned a minute later to say that she made a mistake and that Edge-Cena would be last man standing. I realize this happened on the fly, but they should have just called an audible and had her announce it later rather than making her look so bad like that.

Santina Marella, who debuted last night at WrestleMania, came out to Billy and Chuck’s old music. She said that Santino’s heart was broken when he couldn’t participate in the battle royal, but now his heart can be mended because his twin sister won. An angry Beth Phoenix came out with Rosa. Santina introduced herself to Beth, but Beth said Santino was embarrassing herself. The crowd booed her for that. Beth accused Santina of throwing her out. “It’s every girl for herself, honey,” Santina replied.

Beth challenged Santina to a match. Santina said that Beth is jealous that Santina is more of a woman than Beth will ever be and accepted the match. A referee came out. Beth landed some punches and tried to spank Santina. She went for a slam but Santina fell on top for the pin. Santina was absolutely hilarious here. She’s a tremendous performer. She may even be better than Santino. It’s a shame they didn’t bring her in earlier.

Randy Orton beat Vince McMahon via DQ. Vince was in control early with punches and kicks. He rammed Orton into the announce table. Then Orton hit a clothesline and the RKO in a hurry. He set up for the punt, but Shane McMahon ran in to stop him. Legacy came out and attacked them 3 on 2. HHH joined the fray but Legacy retained control. The crowd was shockingly silent for all of this again. I think it’s just a sign that HHH and Randy Orton should switch roles. HHH as McMahon in-law is a natural heel character.

The crowd picked up, however, when Batista’s music played. Batista made his return in a nice surprise. He made the save and fought off Legacy. Cody Rhodes received the Batista bomb. The show concluded with Vince announcing that Batista will take his place in the 6 man tag at Backlash.

Final Thoughts:

This was a fun show. It had a lot more hits than misses. Hopefully next week’s draft show will focus on putting a bunch of young stars in the position to move up the card. That to me should be the top priority these days for WWE.

5 Comments:

Blogger AKFooFighter said...

"You Look So Good to Me"

Whomever chose Billy & Chuck's theme for Santina's entrance music deserves a promotion immediately. I legit laughed out loud viewing WWE TV for the first time in forever.

Good times.

- Matt in Anchorage

4:05 PM  
Anonymous tyson kaethler said...

Santina was hilarious, that segment would have sank with anyone else in his/her place.

I don't know if this is the legit case, but it seemed like there was way more wrestling on this raw than on others in recent memory. it seemed like they kept backstage stuff to a minimum. I hope this is a trend they're trying to remake, but I have low faith.

I was a little disappointed with no Michaels or Taker, but I hear those demi-gods are pretty banged up, and to be honest Raw was fine without their presence.

One thing you didn't mention was Steamboat's absolutely amazing crowd reaction. It was definitely the case of this particular crowd having a lot of old school male fans in it, but it was just so fun to see Steamboat work and hear the crowd chant "let's go Steamboat" and "you still got it".

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Speaking of funny moments, did you catch Jericho YELLING, clear as a bell, "I'M calling this match!"? I believe he was in with CM Punk, at the time, but he seemed to be directing it at the referee. He was near his corner when he said it, and Edge looked startled and Big Show started laughing.

I didn't see what specifically he was referring to. I'd guess the ref was trying to give him some instructions that he wasn't interested in hearing.

4:00 PM  
Blogger DW said...

Vince McMahon vs Randy Orton? This is the best they can come up with post-Wrestlemania? Damn, but this is pathetic. And now for the upcoming Backlash, it's going to be a six-man tag with the McMahons and Triple H vs Legacy? And then we find out that Batista will be subbing for Vince? You know what this means, of course. This is the way to get the belt off Triple H without him losing the match. It's all about him, isn't it? At Backlash, Shane will probably be pinned and with the stipulation that ANY member of a team who is pinned will cause Triple H to lose the belt and Orton to win it, this is how they get the belt on Orton without Triple H suffering a loss. And then at the next PPV, Trips will win it back - or perhaps this is how they'll put the belt on Batista. It's unimportant, really, who finally wins it. What is significant here is that Triple H WILL NOT permit himself to be pinned to lose the belt, but they gotta find a way to put it on Orton so he can win it back. Triple H is a sad character. It's almost like he knows he's inferior so he has to come up with all these shenanigans to make himself look good.

And wasn't Wrestlemania 25 a joy to watch? I hate to say "I told you so" but since it involves that selfish prick Triple H, I will say it. "I told you so." Anybody who thought that Triple H would lose this match needs their head examined. There should have been no doubt in anybody's mind that Triple H would win. No suspense at all. It's the biggest WM since the shows began and Triple H - who, with his wife, make all the creative final decisions and influence everything that happens - he wanted to be the big star of the biggest WM ever, so that looking back, the talk would always be about him. Well, he got his way - who could stop him? - but it cost the company plenty as the event ended as a dud. The audience reaction was evidence of that. But let's make sure we are clear about one thing. The flatness of the match wasn't due to Randy Orton not trying; the man did the best he could with what he had. It was the screwed up story and completely wrong ending that was finagled by Triple H that ruined this event. Let's put the blame squarely where it belongs.

It's too bad that Randy Orton had to be dragged down by Trips' mediocrity and ego. Trips is actually setting Orton back, whether intentional or not. WM25 should have been the event to proclaim Randy Orton the new top man in the WWE, setting him off on an exciting road that Orton can certainly handle, but Triple H's selfishness and ego prevented that. Nobody was going to stop him from making himself the top man at the biggest WM since the whole concept started 25 years ago. Orton gave it his all, but what was he left with after the way he was trashed during this feud? Hopefully he can recover and the nepotistic shenanigans to promote Triple H haven't set Orton back too far.

I have absolutely no issue with Triple H being the big star of the WWE. I have absolutely no problem with Triple H being on the creative team. But I do have a problem with Triple H doing both. And that is what's happening. It's a brazen conflict of interest that must sow all kinds of bad blood backstage among the other hard working performers. The man is abusing his position, and from the audience reactions, it's not exactly the best thing for the company. But, that's Triple H - he's in control and there's apparently no stopping him until he establishes himself as the top dog of WWE pro wrestling.

Aside from EgoTrips, WM25 was, on the whole, except for HBK vs UT (and I bet that HBK was forced to lose because a win by him would have taken every ounceof steam out of Triple H's main event - hell, it took steam out of it with HBK losing!), a boring waste of time. To sum up the whole WM event, the only difference between a WWE PPV and a regular weekly television show is that people kick out of finishers on PPVs. Otherwise, the two programs are identical. Not a lot to offer for the hefty price of a PPV.

6:33 PM  
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9:21 AM  

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