to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and my stomach is
to gods both porcelain and concrete.
I thought RAW was solid as they come. It opened with Kurt
in the ring. He talked about Michaels evening the series
at 1-1 with his win at Vengeance, but since Kurt won at
WrestleMania, that counts for 2. He then said that HHH stuck
his big nose in his business last week and Flair comes out,
says that Hunter is all banged up and that if he wanted
a match, Flair would wrestle Angle, and if he couldn’t
beat him straight, then he’d cheat in a bunch of different
ways, including biting, gouging and grabbing him in the
testicles. He actually said that. Flair was weirdin’
off and there was a battle of Woos to finish the segment.
Some bad choices
made with what was supposed to be Kane and a mystery partner
vs. Edge and Snitsky. Edge and Lita come out and are chased
out through the crowd by a chair-wielding Kane, leaving
Snitsky there. This only continues to cut the knees out
from under Edge. Bischoff comes out and says that he’d
like to introduce the next Draft Pick and he’ll face
Snitsky one on one. The Big Show comes out and has a two
minute match where he beats Snitsky. It wasn’t good,
but it was the right way to make the switch.
Cena and Maria
had a segment where Cena basically rode her for not being
prepared. He said that Bisch was afraid of him and that
the six-man match they were set for with Christian, Tomko
and Jericho would feature HBK as his partner. Cena then
asked if Shawn had ‘made the call’ and Michaels
answers yes. Hmmmmm…..
Masters jaws and that brings out Tajiri. Tajiri attackes
early, getting a couple of kicks and the Tarantula on Masters.
He hits a handspring elbow, but Masters gets the Masterlock
and Tajiri is out like Mike Tyson. Masters gets the mic
and asks a downed Tajiri if he respects him. Tajiri responds
with a face full of green mist. This was the best of the
Masterlock segments so far.
Cabana made its RAW debut and he said that the Draft Lottery
had just given RAW a lemon. He was great on his delivery.
He then introduces Rob Van Dam. That was a good choice to
move to RAW. Carlito starts talking about RVD’s ECW
promo and how all he says is ‘dude’ and ‘cool’.
RVD is wearing an ECW shirt. RVD responds that when he thinks
of Carlito, he thinks of fruit. Rob then says that Carlito
doesn’t have to worry about RvD, but he does have
to worry about Mr. Monday Night taking RAW to the extreme.
Carlito attacks RVD’s hurt knee and beats on him for
a while before he does the apple spit. Great way to get
the ball rollin’ for RVD on RAW.
this is how RAW treats him...
vs. Flair. Wow. This was a great match with a brilliant
storyline. The story went like this: Flair had to cheat.
Simple, eh? It was smart and brilliantly booked and well
worked and just about the best thing I’ve seen on
RAW in ages. Okay, maybe since the Michaels-Benjamin match.
two of them worked hard from the start with headlock exchanges
and Flair backdropped Angle to the outside, then headed
out and chopped Angle. Back in the ring, the guys work a
little mat and Angle has the advantage until Flair bites
his fingers! This is blatant, but it works. Angle let’s
go and Flair attacks with fish-hooking Angles mouth and
doing what some refer to as the Beer Tap submission to Angle’s
nose. Flair was cheating with a purpose. Angle manages to
get outside, Flair follows his chops, but Angle gets the
Euro Uppercut and hits a Belly-to-Belly on the floor as
we go to break.
working mat again when we return and it’s a great
match that the crowd is really into. The last two days have
featured great audience reactions. I was watching an NWA
tape from 1984 and while the WWE of today will never match
that level, they had similar types of reactions. Flair took
one of his big backdrops. Flair went to the top, and Angle
followed, hitting him with rights until Flair pushed him
off and fell to the floor. Angle got the AngleSlam, but
that only managed a two count. The crowd was hot for the
near fall. Kurt gets the Anklelock, but Flair does the nut
grab to escape. He returns to it again to get more damage
and it sets him up for the Figure Four. Kurt makes the ropes
and after a few chops, manages a German on Ric. This leads
to the finish where Flair goes for the knee breaker, but
angle twists ‘round and makes the Anklelock for the
win. Great match. I can’t say enough about how good
a 36 year old with a bad neck and a 56 year old can work
a match of this caliber.
Search is next. Big Viz comes out. This is bad. They all
show off their bras and panties, except for the one who
didn’t wear any of either (though you could tell she
was wearing a thong) and Alexis, the one who wasn’t
there to play nice and who quotes Flair “to be the
woman, you have to beat the woman.”
are, in this order, Ashley (the punk one), Simona (the Italian
One), Elisabeth (the sporty one) and Summer (the Southern
one). After they’ve all had their go, Sgt. Slaughter
comes out and says that he’s ready to put them through
Bikini Bootcamp next week. That’s a great gimmick
for the Fourth.
be the woman, you have to...um...what?
Big Dave Batista
does a promo talking about how it was hell last night to
be in that cell. It wasn’t his best interview, but
he’s got some of that HHH intensity.
Jericho and Tomko were talking in the back about who the
other guy would be. They said that maybe it was Kevin Nash,
and Jericho said that he’d tear his quad just answering
the phone. They then said that they were close to Hollywood,
which I think they meant to make us believe it was The Rock,
but I immediately thought of Hogan.
turn out to be Hogan and Cena. Michaels and Hogan warmed
up a very appreciative crowd. This led to the match which
was entertaining. The five non-Hogan parts of the show worked
a smart little match, but it ended with Hogan getting the
tag, beating on Tomko, hitting the big boot and Leg Drop
for the win. Lot’s of fun with this one.
Good show to
follow a great PPV.
There’s word that the Dudleys aren’t on the
shelf just because Creative has no ideas for them. There
may be some contract issues preventing them from being used.
In the past, that has meant everything from “We can’t
afford to pay them traveling money” (This happened
a lot in the mid-1990s) to they have riders in their contracts
saying that have to occupy a certain level as far as booking.
With the WWE certainly looking at the ECW returns and starting
to capitalize, it would be odd to see them off for too long.
also word that the WWE is looking at a few people to sign
for the ranks of tag teams. Roadkill and Danny Doring and
Balls and Axl Rotten are the ones that have been talked
to about getting try-outs. I’d like to see that.
Review and Analysis
The WWE’s Vengeance PPV was easily the best WWE Single-Brand
PPV ever. There was so much great work and so much well-done
forward movement that they managed to make a weak build
and a few bad choices into a great pay-per-view.
yet, no one will ever remember it because ECW is still looming
the problem Vince is up against: how to minimize the effect
the most important PPV in the modern era has on how his
current product is viewed. The obvious thing is that WWE
wants ECW to go away for the most part. They want their
name to be the only one in town save for the moments when
they decide that ECW is advantageous. They may be realizing
that that isn’t a good method, as the RVD intro on
Monday showed, but they are certainly not going full bore
to take advantage of what may be 2005’s biggest moneymaker.
The opener was
Carlito vs. Benjamin. This was very much Ricky Steamboat
vs. Larry Zybysko, with Shelton working like the Devil himself
and Carlito stalling and cheating. Shelton’s jumping
bulldog is one of my favourite moves right now and he did
it on the money to Carlito. Nice finish with Carlito undoing
the turnbuckle guard and then he moved when Benjamin went
for a StingerSplash and that allowed Carlito to roll him
up for the win. Good match.
beat Christy Hemme in a match that I was so glad to see
went the right way. After Christy started off strong, Victoria
hit her with The Hot Shot for a near fall. Basically, Victoria
worked Christy over and Christy got a comeback which the
audience didn’t seem to like. Christy actually Sunset-flipped
out of a Widow’s Peak. Victoria sat down and grabbed
the rope to pin Christy. One of the weakest matches of the
show, but far better than I feared.
and Kane met in a match that really shows that the WWE has
real troubles seeing how to make a top heel. Either that,
or Edge is really in the Dog House. Kane worked the match
like he usually does, as a face doing heel spots. This match
should have gone one way: with Edge pinning Kane after help
from Lita. Instead, it ended with Gene Snitsky getting involved,
which makes a tiny amount of sense, and Edge hitting Snitsky
with the briefcase instead of Kane, allowing Kane to get
the ChokeSlam for the win. Huh? This makes no sense.
have Edge, who is a few serious wins away from being the
top heel that they can build around, do the job when Kane
gained nothing from the win? I just don’t get it.
If this had been a classic brawl with all sorts of memorable
spots by Edge, it would have worked, but this match was
pedestrian at best.
and Michaels. These two couldn’t have a bad match.
This was on the level with their Mania match, though I saw
the ending coming from a long way off. The two of them just
have such great timing, know how to work a crowd and are
two of the best facial workers of all-time. The two worked
back and forth, exchanging on their feet and on the mat.
Angle powerbombed Michaels into the corner, which is an
old Pro Wrestling NOAH move that I’ve always loved.
Michaels has turned into a bit of a Bret Hart as he hit
the Flying Forearm, followed that with the Kip Up and the
Flying Elbow. Angle went for an AngleSlam, but Shawn turned
it into a Tornado DDT. They did an extremely near-fall following
an AngleSlam, but then Kurt got the Anklelock. Shawn made
the ropes, playing off their match from Mania. They do Sweet
Chin Music to a double count down, but Shawn managed to
cover Kurt at 9, though he ended up with only a two and
99/100. Kurt went to the top and came off, but he met a
Michaels Superkick for the win. The ending was the same
as the Benjamin, and that one came off better, but this
was the best match since Mania when it comes to wrestling.
Lillian asked Viz to marry her, which brought out DeAnza
College’s own The Godfather. He says it’d be
a shame to lose Viscera to marriage and Viz chooses to ride
the ho train instead. This was better than it could have
been. Lillian manages to cry on cue, which is pretty amazing
considering she’s not known as an actress.
Chris will be right over once his nausea passes.
The Triple Threat
Match was one where it could have gone either way. Luckily,
it went the good way and they had a fantastic match. The
basic premise was that one guy would get nailed with a big
move and would sell while the other two fought. Makes sense
in my eyes. Jericho was great in this one, and Christian
wasn’t bad either. Jericho went to suplex Cena through
the Spanish Announce Table, but Cena turned it into a DDT
on the floor. They do the thing where one guy is trying
to Superplex the other and the third guy turns it into a
Powerbomb. Good finish as Cena gets Christian up for the
FU, then swings him like an airplane spin to KO Jericho,
allowing him to get a pin. Cena is ready to take Raw on
his back. Let’s see if HHH lets that happen.
in the Cell was great. It’s a good gimmick and HHH
understands it better than anyone. They used gimmicks galore,
from chains to a barbed-wire wrapped chair. This was an
ultra-great brawl and probably the best match that Batista
will in involved with for ages. Loads of brawling, with
HHH getting the chain and hanging Batista by it for a while.
Big Dave managed to switch things up and used the chain
to whip H. Hunter gets the barbed-wire chair and slams it
into Big Dave. This draws like taps of blood. These were
serious shots, too. It’s obvious that he was trying
to out ECW ECW. The only difference, which they had good
heat here, was that the ECW show had amazing heat and the
people really cared how things went on.
goes for the Pedigree on the chair, but Dave backdrops out
of it and when H charged, Batista gave him the powerbomb
on the chair. After Batista tried a DemonBomb, HHH hit him
low and got the Pedigree, but it only got a two count. HHH
grabs the steps and is about to Pedigree Batista on them,
but Big Dave turns it into a Spinebuster. H grabbed the
Sledgehammer, but Big Dave managed the DemonBomb for the
pin. Great match.
They were trying
to erase the memory of the ECW PPV. They didn’t get
to that level. They need to see that what made ECW great
was the work and taking everything seriously. They need
to tighten up their booking, make stipulations stick and
increase the over-all workrate. They did find a few things
that just didn’t make much sense, thought they managed
to put on a good show. I’d love to see them integrate
ECW into the show, perhaps as a face stable to try and make
a run at Bisch, but I know they’re more interested
in showing that they are better than ECW. I thought the
two PPVs were about on the same level when it came to work,
though emotion was certainly ECW’s big bonus. The
WWE is in a bad position, and I think they know it.
all for this edition. Friday will see more!
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