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The W - Pro Wrestling - RAW #775 3/31/08
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geemoney
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Since: 26.1.03
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.25
TONIGHT: The show that usually re-sets things will instead be Ric Flair tribute night, as he delivers his farewell address. CM Punk faces Chris Jericho after CM one night earlier prevented Y2J from winning Money in the Bank.

-WWE Open.

-Clips of HBK beating Flair last night aired, with somber music.

-RAW Open.

-Fireworks (with hopefully no one getting hurt) intro’d Raw LIVE from Orlando, Florida. JR plugged Ric Flair’s farewell address tonight. Coming out first though is one of the losers of the Triple Threat Match for the WWE Title, John Cena. Well, maybe not. Music played but no one came out. Then, we heard Triple H’s music. No Game either. It was all a ruse, as Randy Orton came out to HIS music. “Expecting someone else?” Orton asked? Awesome. That works on multiple levels. Orton scolded the fans for not giving him enough credit. Orton went through the laundry list of guys he’s beaten to retain the title. He said a new era is upon us: The Age of Orton. He was interrupted, strangely, by John Bradshaw Layfield. JBL cut right to the chase and said he deserves a title shot. The Texan called Orton’s match “pathetic” and called him “lucky.” JBL said he was dominant as champion on Smackdown, then declared his candidacy for the number one contender. He said if the fans dislike Orton as champ, they’re going to hate him. He then left as Orton yelled after him. He begged JBL to come back out as Matt Hardy came out of the crowd and from behind, attacked Orton. Referees came out and restrained Matt as Randy got a cheap-shot in. Well, I certainly didn’t expect that. Good segment that raises some questions.

[Break]

-Backstage, William Regal scolded Matt Hardy for attacking Orton. Hardy said he had to do it because Orton took three months of his career; it was just revenge. Regal said he’d think about it.

(1) Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch vs. Cryme Tyme
Good pop for the returning tag team. JR even connected the two’s past, specifically mentioning the last time Cryme Tyme was on TV, they were selling off Cade’s hat. Cade was the aggressor, punching Shad, who came back with a flying clothesline. JTG came in and was powered down by Cade. Lance did a lot of trash talking during the match. Murdoch tagged in and hit a running elbow. Fans even began to chant for JTG when Murdoch was pounding him. Out of nowhere, JTG rolled up Murdoch for the win.

Winners: Cryme Tyme, at 2:52. Match was all C&M. Crowd was into Cryme Tyme.

-Flair’s farewell address is tonight. They showed highlights of his 1983 cage match with Harley Race.

-Shawn Michaels was walking backstage, heading to the ring. JR said he has it on good authority that HBK is going to pour his heart out tonight.

[Break]

-Shawn Michaels came out, to not much of a reaction. Maybe the fans are taking a wait-and-see approach for his promo. Michaels said he was asked to be Mr. Wrestlemania, and he’s not sure how he feels about it. He said the career of the greatest wrestler who ever lived is over, and he’s responsible for it. He said it was another burden he had to carry with him. He looked stoic, scanned the crowd and left the ring, walking to the back. Interesting.

-CM Punk takes on Chris Jericho tonight.

-Also tonight, it’s official: Matt Hardy vs. Randy Orton.

[Break]

-Michaels was backstage, pacing back and forth, when Regal came up to him. He said Flair should’ve been put out to pasture a long time ago. The he walked away. The camera panned back to reveal Batista standing a few feet away from HBK, leaning on the wall. He stared HBK down and Michaels walked away. Yikes.

(2) Paul London & Brian Kendrick vs. Cody Rhodes & Hardcore Holly
This is a non-title match. JR compared Kendrick & London to the Midnight Rockers. He also noted that London & Kendrick have worked out their differences. Rhodes worked a hammer-lock early on. Kendrick scooped and slammed Rhodes. Both men made the tag and Holly got some boos with the tag. I suddenly have respect for the Orlando fans. Dueling “Let’s go London” and “Let’s go Holly” chants. Am I in bizarro world? Hard chop by Bob, and two more, the final one sending London over the top rope. Back in, he clotheslined London near out of his boots. Rhdoes hit a cross-body off the top, but London rolled through. He landed on his feet on a bac-body drop and tagged Kendrick London broke up a pin attempt, then sent an interfering Holly to the outside. London was shot over the top rope by Rhodes, who was rolled up and pinned (with a bridge) by Kendrick.

Winners: London & Kendrick, at 3:36. First minute sucked, last minute and a half was good.

-Clips of Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat from WrestleWar 1989 aired. His farewell address is tonight.

[Break]

-Rev Theory’s “Light It Up” was thanked for supplying WM’s theme song, and the band was shown at ringside.

-JR introduced some highlights of WrestleMania XXIV. I think it was the same video used as the final wrap-up package for the show last night.

-The announcers then plugged Randy Orton vs. Matt Hardy, and next, Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk.

[Break]

(3) Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk
Jericho and Punk exchanged kicks to the quads. I’ve noticed in the last two months or so, the announcers are doing a lot more of the “I talked to (wrestler) backstage earlier today, and he said....” things to get across the angle or the personality of the wrestler. Punk got a near-fall about a minute and a half in. Chants of “Let’s go Jericho” and “CM Punk” were dueling. It was very rhythmic. Knee-lift by Jericho which got a two count. Punk avoided Jericho’s springboard dropkick. Y2J then missed a baseball slide and Punk nailed him with a roundhouse kick to the head. Punk began to work on the knee of Jericho, but Jericho avoided the bulldog. Punk picked him up for the GTS, but Jericho elbowed out. He tried to lock the Walls of Jericho in, but Punk rolled out. Unexpected Codebreaker put Jericho in the win column.

Winner: Jericho, at 5:58. Good while it lasted, made better by the hot crowd.

-The 1992 Royal Rumble was the next Flair video moment to be shown. His farewell address is yet to come. They’ve plugged this hard all night so far...should be interesting to see the rating for that segment.

[Break]

-Tonight, Maria faces Santino Marella....in a one-on-one match.

-Big Show came out. He had a huge bruise on his jaw from the brass knucks last night. Show congratulated Floyd and everyone/everything that helped him win the match last night. He wanted to turn his attention to the Hall of Fame and something Ric Flair said. He noted Flair said he was the greatest big man in the history of the business. As he was about to proclaim something, Great Khali came out to confront Show. “You can’t wrestle” chants as the two big men stood face-to-face. When Khali didn’t move, Show moved him. The two went toe-to-toe again. I thought I heard “Show’s gonna kill you” chants, a la the Samoa Joe ones, but I could be mistaken. Khali willingly walked away and up the ramp. Khali started to walk toward Show again, but stopped, and left for good.

-Earlier tonight, Matt Hardy attacked Randy Orton.

-Hardy was warming up for their match backstage; the contest is next.

[Break]

-Santino was warming up backstage for his match. Maria came up to him and Santino asked if she had her rabies shot from kissing Snoopy the Dog. Maria didn’t understand why they had to have an anything goes match tonight. Santino said last night, he was stuck with the lowest form of WWE entertainment: the divas. He said tonight, he needs an emotional release by fighting...unless Maria can think of another way to help him relieve his stress. Maria slapped him. Ah, good stuff.

(4) Randy Orton vs. Matt Hardy
Back-drop by Hardy, then a kick to the gut. Hardy threw Orton nito the barricade outside, then one more time. Back in the ring, Hardy got a two count from an elbowdrop. Orton tried to re-group on the outside, but Matt went after him. Neck-breaker by Hardy. Hardy went to the middle rope, but Orton pulled him down hard by the leg. Match continues after break.

[Break]

The match came back with Hardy in a chin-lock. Eventually, they went back-and-forth, with Matt getting in some of his pet moves. Orton went to the outside to avoid a legdrop off the middle rope though. Matt went out and gave him the Twist of Fate on the mats. He pushed Orton back in the ring but Randy surprised him with an RKO for the win.

Winner: Orton, at 10:00.

-Dusty Rhodes talked about Ric Flair in a pre-taped sit-down segment. Flair’s farewell address is still to come.

[Break]

-An out-of-breath Orton was approached in his locker room by JBL. JBL simply picked up the belt, held it, and put it back down in Orton’s lap.

(5) Maria vs. Santino Marella- Anything Goes Match
Santino grabbed Maria by the hair, then threw her face-down to the mat. The face diva locker room emptied and came to the ring to attack Santino. Threre were fists flying everywhere. They held his legs open and Maria headbutted him in the groin and got the pin.

Winner: Maria, at :57. This could lead to some classic exchanges between Santino and the other divas.

-Ric Flair’s farewell address is next.

[Break]

-The video of Flair/HBK from last night that opened the show aired.

-Ric Flair’s music played and the Nature Boy came out. You could see tears already welled up in his eyes. Flair said he would never, ever wrestle in that ring again. Flair said he isn’t sad and that the fans shouldn’t be either, because he’s had the greatest in-ring career of anyone else. He said he lost to a better man last night. The crowd began chanting, “Thank you Ric” and Flair said he thanks them. Flair thanked the fans for making him what he is today. As he was about to put the mic down and his music began to play, it was interrupted by Triple H’s theme and The Game came out. Trips had a mic and said if he thinks these fans are the only ones who want to say thank you, then he’s got another thing coming. Flair began to cry and Trips hugged him. Triple H said that he loved Flair from the bottom of his heard and said thank you. He said there were a few other people that wanted to say thank you. He said he talked to a few guys earlier and it’s funny, ever since he talked to’em, his hand has been cramping up in the “four” sign. Triple H then introduced Tully Blanchard, JJ Dillon, Barry Windham and Arn Anderson. All four shared hugs with Naitch once they got in the ring. Flair really broke down after hugging Arn. Batista was then introduced next. Ricky Steamboat got an entrance after Batista came out. Next was Harley Race. He was accompanied by Michelle McCool and Mickie James, though he seemed to be walking faster than them. Greg Valentine was then introduced. He was followed by the Iceman Dean Malenko. Next out was Chris Jericho. John Cena followed him. His family came out and Flair had to cover his face because he was crying so hard. After them was Shawn Michaels. Again, the crowd quieted. They hugged. Trips asked anyone else to come out if they wanted to say goodbye to Flair. The entire roster came out. They even chanted “Thank you Ric.” “Leave the Memories Alone” played as Ric soaked in the claps and cheers from everyone. Wow. Powerful, powerful stuff.
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PeterStork
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Since: 25.1.02
From: Chicagoland with Hoosiers, or "The Region"

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.20
A decent show until the last segment...

which was just incredible. Even without Flair's constant breaking into tears it was riveting, proud television, and I loved every second of it. Amazing.



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Since: 10.1.02
From: Tennessee

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.90
Great, great, great, Orlando crowd. They were so loud it had to make you wonder how Wrestlemania would have sounded with a roof overhead last night.

Emotional final segment that made me feel good about being a wrestling fan.



Go Bucks.
Rush4Life
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Tacoma, WA

Since last post: 5 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.90
I agree. The show was fine until the end. Just some powerful, emotional stuff. I admit it, I was rather misty most of the way through the segment. It was awesome to see the Horsemen and even Ricky Steamboat and Harley and Greg Valentine.



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spf
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
Perhaps the only thing one can say to really illustrate how special Ric Flair has been is that I can envision no one before or since about whom such a segment could ever be done. And yeah, I teared up too.



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redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.48
Think the last shot of Race/Flair/Cena will be shown as Cena being a part of a legacy of greatness?
If they somehow convinced Ole to show up, that might have topped everything. Still, I'll never complain about the 4 Horsemen/4 Title 1988 Group being together.
Steamboat, Trip, Tully, Arn, Michaels, Batista, Cena, Race, Jericho, Windham, Valentine, Malenko. Give me a 12 man tourney with all 12 in their prime, winner gets Flair in his prime, and you would have as close to wrestling paradise as you could ever have. And, just to make it interesting, I'll take Barry Windham.
James Julius Caesar Dillon looked as good as he did in '88.
Maybe they had him on tape rather than in the ring because out of force of habit the Horsemen and Race would have pummelled him, but does Dusty Rhodes have health problems? I didn't think he looked good on the Gary Hart retrospective he did, and his right eye looked like it wouldn't open on the Flair tribute.
They should have introduced David Flair as former U.S. Champion David Flair.
BigDaddyLoco
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.72
- I felt like we've done this in different variations with Flair before. It was still nice and all, but it felt a lot like they were naming names just to fill the time up. How lucky is Greg Valentine though? The guy went from midcarding high school gyms to the final Ric Flair send off and probably scored a nice meal out of the deal.

Seeing the end of the Flair/Michaels match again and again made me wish that instead of looking old and beaten before getting the super kick he instead raised his head up and took one mid 'WOO'.

- So, now Kendrick and London are back to being buddies and were they teasing the much anticipated Murdoch/Cade feud or was I just reading too much into Murdoch reaction while JR was babbling on about taking a picture of Cryme Tyme or something?

- It will be interesting to see if Orton can draw and keep any interest in a feud that doesn't pair him up with HBK/HHH or Cena.

- Matt Hardy is the worst revenge getter ever!


MedallaGuy
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Since: 12.1.02
From: San Juan, Puerto Rico

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#8 Posted on
Between HOF, yesterday and especially today, I'm one proud wrestling fan. This weekend people who I hadn't talked with in months called me up out of the blue to see if i saw Wrestlemania or Raw tonight. It was like I talked to them yesterday, like time stood still and we were watching Monday Nitro and Raw back in the day...this is what wrestling was all about, that time you had with your friends to enjoy the sport and entertainment, and be moved by people like Ric, Arn, Tully, Austin, Rock, HBK...et all.

Thank you Ric for everything.

On a side note...LOVED that the tag teams are back again, about freaking time, now let's push London and Kendrick to the moon!




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CajunMan
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Give me a Title shot!

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.51
Great Show and a great tribute to Flair. One Question, How Come Randy Orton was not announced as a member of the Evolution?

Even if Ric Flair decides to return 2 weeks from now it was still a great tribute. Where has David Flair's wrestling career gone?

great teaser in the opening too.



(edited by CajunMan on 31.3.08 2237)


I'm CajunMan and I approve this message.
Texas Kelly
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Since: 3.1.02
From: FOREST HILLS CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.37
Ladies and gentlemen, the following public service message is brought to you by your friends from D-Generation X, who would like to remind each and every one of you that if you're not down with that, we've got two words for you...

    Originally posted by redsoxnation
    Think the last shot of Race/Flair/Cena will be shown as Cena being a part of a legacy of greatness?

Let's put this in perspective.

Firstly, to answer your question - if they don't, they're absolutely nuts.

Cena is only 30 years old. He's already won three world titles. He's held those three world titles for a combined 26 months, and is easily the most dominating champion and the most powerful force (however you want to define it - ticket sales, merchandise sales, star power, pure crowd heat magnet) in the industry today.

At age 30, Ric Flair had yet to win even one of his 16 world titles.

I daresay that politics might be the only thing that could stop Cena from *surpassing* Ric Flair's career. And that's not intended as a slight at Ric at all. While someone like Hulk Hogan was limited by his technical ability, Cena is the complete package. He can wrestle any kind of match, he can work the stick with the best of them, and not only he is a physical freak of nature, but as we've seen this year, his college education gives him the prime knowledge to not only keep himself in peak condition, but to drastically cut short a recovery that would have taken a year for any other performer.

Let's put it this way: If Ric Flair is Jack Nicklaus (and for the sake of the legacy image, let's say that Harley Race is Arnold Palmer) then John Cena is Tiger Woods. That should clear up just how great Flair's career was, and how great Cena's career could very well be twenty years from now.

(edited by Texas Kelly on 31.3.08 2351)


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While the switch from Cena to RVD should alleviate some complaints, the inevitability of the belt's return to Cena (note where Summerslam is this year) and the poor initial showing by the new ECW are enough to keep the indicator where it is for now. The pieces are in place, though, especially on RAW, for improvements to be made to the IWC's psyche in the near future.
JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.34
    Originally posted by BigDaddyLoco
    It was still nice and all, but it felt a lot like they were naming names just to fill the time up.



...


    Originally posted by redsoxnation
    If they somehow convinced Ole to show up, that might have topped everything.


I wouldn't want him there at all. I was expecting Roddy Piper though.



That was the best thing ever. Pro wrestling is great. After the way he was treated by WCW in the 90s and even in certain aspects of his WWE run, it is beyond heartwarming that Flair got this recognition and celebration at the end of his career. WWE can be really wonderful sometimes.
spf
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Since: 2.1.02
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
    Originally posted by JustinShapiro
      Originally posted by BigDaddyLoco
      It was still nice and all, but it felt a lot like they were naming names just to fill the time up.



    ...


      Originally posted by redsoxnation
      If they somehow convinced Ole to show up, that might have topped everything.


    I wouldn't want him there at all. I was expecting Roddy Piper though.



    That was the best thing ever. Pro wrestling is great. After the way he was treated by WCW in the 90s and even in certain aspects of his WWE run, it is beyond heartwarming that Flair got this recognition and celebration at the end of his career. WWE can be really wonderful sometimes.

The one person I was surprised not to see was Steve Austin, considering the whole storyline was supposedly his idea.



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I Breastfeed John Madden
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Since: 13.4.04
From: Des Moines, IA

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.00
I couldn't have been the only one wishing that they worked out a deal to have Sting appear.






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Ex-Cop, Ex-CIA, Ex-plosive.
yamcha
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Since: 21.6.07
From: ....here?

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.32
there were alot of guys i thought would come out and one for sure i knew wouldn't because Sting is under TNA contract. But I was glad that they gave him a good send off and we didn't get some one like JBl or vince messing it up.
The Thrill
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Since: 16.4.02
From: Green Bay, WI

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.25
Welcome home, men of the 2nd Bn, 127th Inf, 32d "Red Arrow" Brigade, WI Army Nat'l Guard! Good luck to those down south.

First time in a LONG time that anything in pro wrestling made me tear up...and that's saying something.

Long live The Nature Boy. Whoo, indeed.




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Oliver
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.25
Great episode of Raw.

-It was nice to see Cryme Time back. I didn't even know they were returning!

-I like JBL vs. Randy Orton. I hope it happens.

-The way the WWE is booking the Big Show kind of confuses me. Is he supposed to be a heel or a face? Didn't they try to book him as a heel in this match with Mayweather?

-The way the WWE handled the Ric Flair storyline was wonderful. I was damn near tears at the end of Flair's match at Wrestlemania...but I lost it during his farewell address tonight. The last time I lost it watching wrestling was, interestingly enough, during his tribute in 2002 or 2003, after his match with HHH. I'm trying in vain to find it online or on Youtube...but with no luck.

-London/Kendrick vs. Holly/Rhodes was awesome. I hope that this is the beginning of a revamped tag team division. I suggest a title unification match; there's really no use for two sets of tag titles, is there?



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Since: 20.6.02
From: I am the Tag Team Champions!

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.88
I kept waiting throughout the Ric Flair farewell for one of the top heels to make his presence felt and shatter the moment. Thankfully, that never came and the moment played out like it should have. One of the best Raw moments ever.

Thankfully, someone came to their senses and aborted the London/Kendrick split. Considering how dismal the tag situation is, it's better they stay together. I'm surprised to see Cryme Tyme back. Now that they're back, I can't even remember why they were let go in the first place.

I honestly can't understand where they're going with Orton/JBL. This isn't setting up an Orton face turn, is it? And shame on me for pointing out in the Wrestlemania results thread that they were setting up a JBL title chase. Me and my big mouth.

I really like the storyline potential now that Shawn's carrying the burden as the man that retired Flair. A feud with Batista would be VERY cool.




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Rush4Life
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Tacoma, WA

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.90
Ok, I have to ask. Who else is thinking that this just might be the start of a slow burn to turn HBK heel? His promo was reminiscent of the promo where he turned heel after Summerslam where he refereed the UT/Hart title match. I can see this eat away at him until he snaps after a particularly bad loss and goes full blown heel. I'd like that.

From the wishful thinking desk:

I'd enjoy a HBK/Batista fued as well. I'd also like to see HHH be caught in the middle being the man who helped mold Batista into the superstar he is today and being HBK's buddy. If done right, it could be compelling television.



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Big Bad
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Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 4 hours
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.49
Part of me actually thought that HBK coming out last meant that he was going to superkick Flair out of nowhere, and then scamper out of the ring while Batista, HHH, Cena, etc. all threw a fit. The tribute was better off the way it happened, but you've gotta admit, that would've been the best heel turn ever.

Say what you will about Cryme Time, but the fact that the crowd popped for their surprise return and even busted out a 'welcome back' chant is a sign that these guys have a certain charisma. I'd love to see a revived tag division, especially with London/Kendrick back as respected contenders. Though I'm not sure if the split is over yet --- I think Kendrick was working on his snotty "I'm a big deal" face last night. BTW, Kendrick looks exactly like that kid who Kramer promised two Paul O'Neill homers to.

The "Show's gonna kill you" chant was pure gold.

Orton-JBL isn't going to work. Both are perfect as heels, so why bother entering into a feud where one of them has to be a de facto face?



“How is it that I am a good actor? What I do is I... pretend to be the person I’m portraying. You’re confused. Case in point: in Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson comes to me and says ‘I would like you to be Gandalf the Wizard,’ and I said ‘You are aware that I am not really a wizard?’ and Peter Jackson said ‘I would like you to use your acting skills to portray a wizard for the duration of the show.’ So I said ‘Okay’ and then I said to myself ‘Mmm.. How do I do that?’ And this is what I did: I imagined that I was a wizard, and then I pretended, and acted, in that way on the stage. How did I know what to say? The words were written down for me in a script. How did I know where to stand? People told me where to stand." -- Sir Ian McKellen, Extras
Excalibur05
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Since: 19.1.02
From: Minnesota

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.66
    Originally posted by BigDaddyLoco

    Seeing the end of the Flair/Michaels match again and again made me wish that instead of looking old and beaten before getting the super kick he instead raised his head up and took one mid 'WOO'.


I actually loved what they did. Ric was worn down, beaten, but he still got up, put up his dukes, gave Shawn one last "Gimmie what you got" and took the Superkick like a man. That's how a guy like Flair is supposed to get retired.



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