I wonder if RAW will be good tonight? Last week was a mild improvement over the last few weeks. Tonight is Hardy vs. Nitro in a Ladder match. WWE.com reports that all the Survivor Series participants are going to be there. Sounds like we will have some brawls and SS previews.
RAW kicks off with the introduction of John Cena and Survivor Series team members walking down to the ring. After some shock from our announce team of JR and the King that Cena could even make it to RAW after being taken out by Big Show and Umaga last week, Cena cuts a promo, calling Big Show "Big Ol' Poopypants." He refers to starting Survivor Series early but is interrupted by the new music of Team RKO. They come walking from the side of the ramp and pause at ringside. Melina's hair is all flattened out and I thank her for that because she looks about 10 times better that way then it does when it's all teased out. Edge and Orton blah blah about having won the tag titles and how Nitro's IC ladder match tonight will mean that Team RKO will have 4 title-holders, before Ric Flair's team of olde-tymers come walking out and find a spot in some other nook/cranny on the arena floor. As he calls Team RKO "pathetic", cue the Spirit Squad music. They come out through the crowd and Kenny starts talking. One of the other members commandeers the mic and tries to talk, but Kenny yanks it back and promises to debut a new cheer. But he's cut off by the music of Degeneration X. They make their way out to a nother spot on the floor, along with CM Punk and the Brothers Hardy. Shawn Michaels wants to start the Royal Rumble right now. Heh. Trips reminds Shawn that it's Survivor Series. Trips declares that Flair's team can take out the Spirit Squad, calling them "Easy". He mentions an open case of Twinkies in the back, meaning Cena won't get his wish of the Big Show coming out. After calling Team RKO "The Village People", he announces his own team members and that he and Shawn have two words for everyone. Edge interrupts and claims everyone is sick of the two words. Cena calls Big Show gutless and says he wouldn't mind seeing DX take out Team RKO. But at that, Big Show's team comes out and stands at the top of the stage. After some more talk, all the teams start making their way to the ring.
Cue Mr. Mcmahon, who doesn't want to give Survivor Series away on free TV. However, he makes an "unprecedented" all-captains 8-man tag match. Conveniently there are co-captains. Cena, Flair, and DX to face Team RKO, Kenny, and the Big Show. The crowd only mildly reacts to Kenny's name, forcing Vince to repeat the announcement, and Kenny to kind of hilariously yell offmic at the crowd "Make some noise when he says my name!" Vince guarantees somewhat significantly "a night you will never, ever forget."
Sabu comes out to face Umaga. Umaga controls the action early. Sabu fights back with a springboard DDT but Umaga quickly counters the next springboard move into the Samoan Spike and cover for the win. Not much there to speak of. Adbreak.
We return to find Torrie Wilson holding a T-shirt cannon. King calls fora T-shirt but doesn't get one. Chris Masters enters with an abbreviated intro. Ohh, nice, something for Carlito to do. Masters shows off his guns in comparison to Torrie's air-powered version. After a lame joke he grabs her arm but out is Carlito to declare that putting your hands on his woman is not cool. He acknowledges Masters' guns but declares that downstairs, it's just a little pistol. A quick beat-down of Masters earns Carlito a hug from Torrie. As he escorts her out of the ring, Masters recovers and takes Carlito with the master lock. Carlito fades and Lawler suddenly gets up and heads into the ring. Masters releases the hold and walks off.
IC title Ladder Match hype. Adbreak.
Grisham interviews Nitro. Melina dedicates the upcoming match to Kevin Federline, saying he's in their hearts. Nitro declares himself and K-Fed to be "ballers" and Jeff Hardy and his fans to be posers.
Backstage, the Spirit Squad argues amongst themselves. Johnny nominates himself to face Dusty Rhodes in an upcoming match. Kenny reasserts his captainship and overrules Johnny, putting "all-american amateur wrestler" Nicky in the match. The squad less Johnny gets over Kenny's pompousness quick enough to pump Nicky up, before the shortest Squad member points out Ric Flair standing in the background mingling with Candice. Kenny jogs over (literally) and interrupts their canoodling. Candice takes off. Kenny says youth will prevail this Sunday, regardless of who Flair finds to replace Piper. Ric Flair has two words for Kenny: "Wooooo!" Before Kenny can point out that this is only 1 word, Ron Simmons arrives to shout the word emblazoned on his T-shirt: "Damn". Kenny does his best to make it work buy shrinking away in fear as soon as he says it. Crowd pops.
Jeff Hardy walks through the hall, getting ready. A ref comes by and says the match is next, and he's gonna need the title. Hardy gives it to him, and I appreciate this little insight into how the refs sometimes end up with the title before the match so they can hold it up, or in this case, hang it up above the ladder. "Hey, man, I need the belt."
Nitro and Hardy come out. After a lengthy build up, they lock. Hardy shoves Nitro out, who regroups and gains an early edge. Hardy fights back and strikes with a Whisper in the Wind which hurts both men. Nitro takes advantage and goes to set up a ladder from the outside. Hardy baseball slides into the ladder. Nitro gets up and picks up the ladder again, only for Nitro to leap over and attack again, knocking down both and giving way to an adbreak.
We return with Nitro on the outside and Hardy climbing the ladder. Nitro recovers to push the ladder over, catching Hardy on the top rope. Nitro sets a ladder in the cornder, but his offense is reversed by Hardy, who throws him into and off the ladder. Both men climb the latter. Nitro attempts a superplex, but Hardy tosses him off. Hardy stands on the top rope, rotates the ladder, and motions for a spectacular move. Nitro gets up and rocks the ladder into Hardy, causing him to fall onto the turnbuckle with his crotchular region. Nitro pulls the ladder to the conver, but Hardy with a drop-kick from the rope into the ladder takes him out. Hardy resets the ladder and climbs, but Nitro brings him back with some punches. Nitro attempts one of the lamer moves in wrestling, the catapult, throwing Hardy into the ladder. However, Hardy lands on the ladder and immediately begins climbing, tot he delight of the fans. Nitro recovers quickly enough to stall his progress. They exchange blows from opposite sides of the ladder. Nitro executes an impressive standing drop-kick from the antepenultimate stop on the 8-foot ladder, sending both to the mat. Nitro inverts the ladder and swings it open into Hardy who'd retreated to a corner. Nitro resets the ladder in the center and climbs. Hardy flings him down by the hair. Hardy scoop slams Nitro onto the ladder, and climbs the ropes. Nitro is supine on the ladder but rolls out of the way of the swanton bomb, with Hardy crashing back-first onto the ladder. Melina can scarely watch. Both men get up, and Nitro fires the ladder at Hardy's face, and follows witha drop-kick. Nitro balances the ladder horizontally in the near right corner on the second rope, and Irish-whips Hardy into it.
Nitro goes to the outside and brings out a taller ladder. He inverts it and shoves it into Hardy's chest. He then sets it up in the corner. Hardy reverses an irish whip and Nitro smashes into it, breaking one of the braces. Hardy climbs the other ladder, chased on the other side by Nitro. Hardy leaps over the top and executes a powerbomb which incapacitates Nitro. Jeff sets Nitro and the ladder up in the corner, and performs a leap-frogged legdrop that hits. Hardy then puts up the ladder cleverly, pinning Nitro down with one side of it, and climbing the other. Nitro is unable to shake free and Hardy grabs the belt for the win.
Baltimore Ravens in the house. Grisham introduces Dusty Rhodes, who cuts a quick promo on Nicky. Good times.
Nicky comes out alone. Lillian looks good in white. Rhodes' music is great. JR mentions Piper's surgery. Nicky shrinks from Rhodes' teased elbow and any contract whatsoever before thumbing the Dream's eye. Kicks to the thigh take Rhodes down. Nicky works the leg before being tossed out of the ring. Nicky high risk move gets a punch in the gut. Rhodes takes control a bit. Elbow-drop to the sternum ends it.
Lita and Edge whisper sweet nothings to each other backstage. Orton approaches with Maria in tow. Lita takes off. Maria has recovered from her beating by Umaga enough to ask Edge if he thinks they can win both tonight and at Survivor Series. Edge and Orton's exasperated response is interrupted by an offscreen ruckus, which they go to invesigate, finding Cryme Tyme watching See No Evil in a side room. Orton comments that as long as they're in the tag division, title defense shouldn't be a problem for he and Edge. Cryme Tyme take offense, and Shad speaks quickly in an african american dialect several negative things about Randy. The word "metrosexual" is included. Edge interjects that as a Canadian, he is very much down with the brothas, and that he enjoyed Whitney Houston bak in the day. Maria likes her too. Edge is done making nice and says that DX will have something in common with Cryme Tyme by the end of it all, since they'll be "black" and blue. Lame, even for a heel joke. He and Randy leave, but Maria is "encouraged" to stay and watch the movie. She looks good doing it. Adbreak.
Lita comes out to face Mickie James in another joke match. This time, Mickie James is to be blindfolded. We're treated to Coachman coming out to put a black sack over Mickie's head. Thousands of viewers, including several who don't even think Mickie's all that, wonder why it has to be her of the two women in this match who's wearing the sack. And, why don't the refs ever have these apparatti? Anyway, Lita wins the match with a moonsault. Lita growls after the match that she's tired of being disrespected by the people, including the fans. Lita trumpets her sacrifices despite her status as the woman who revolutionized female pro wrestling, name-checking Trish Stratus as a follower and declaring her Survivor Series match to be her swan song.
Backstage, Edge watches on Grisham's TV with approval. Kenny arrives, as does the Big Show. The team is confident. Adbreak.
The Heel team comes out. Survivor Series hype preceeds another adbreak.
Flair comes out, followed by Cena. He charges into the ring and starts brawling, allowing the inevitable DX delayed entry. They hustle into the ring and the faces take out all three heels save Edge. They take turns before Flair lays him out with hellacious chop. Michaels elbow from the top rope. Not sure who if anyone is the legal man. Michaels' sweet chin music aborted as Big Show drags Edge out of the ring. DX attacks the Show to no avail. Impending double choke-slam is stopped by Flair with a kick to the crotch from behind. Cena shoulder block to Big Show sends him out of the ring. Adbreak.
The match proper has started with Edge having the upper hand on Michaels. Tag to Kenny, who seems horribly out of place in this match. I like it though. Kenny tags in Orton, who uses Michaels as a stomping ground, then has had enough and tags in Big Show. Cover and count interrupted by Triple H. Show tags in Kenny. JR echoes my sentiments, saying Kenny's "sitting at the grownup table tonight." Tag to Edge. Rest hold. Michaels comes out of it but Edge counters and tags in Orton. Orton taunts Michaels, preparing for an RKO, but it's countered and thrown off by HBK. Hot tag to Cena/Kenny. Cena cleans up the mat with Kenny and goes to the 5-knickle shuffle. F-U interrupted by Big Show. Faces enter to aid but Big Show dispatches them. Chokeslam by Show escaped by Cena, who pushes him into a chop by Flair. HHH facebuster to Show, Michaels sweet chin music topples Show over the top rope. Kenny staggers into Cena's FU at the center of the ring for the finish.
This is followed by a mad clusterfletch as all Survivor Series participants come in for a melee.
I thought there was some surprisingly good psychology in the Nicky/Dusty match. I mean, it was basically just a squash, but both guys really got over the story of the match - Nicky is at first intimidated by the legend, but then begins to realize he's faster and stronger than Dusty. Dusty counters with his experience, and is able to bust Nicky up with some elbows for the win. Not exactly Match of the Year, but it did it's job, and Nicky really sold those elbows. For something that wasn't anything, I thought it was surprisingly good.
Thank you for a most excellent recap of the show. Please come again!
Seconded, what Sec said.
Wow, finally they put together not only a watchable Raw, but an enjoyable one too. The ladder match was great, with some nice holy shit moments in it. Jeff Hardy's Swanton on the Ladder and Nitro's top of the ladder dropkick on Hardy.
That had to have been Lita's best promo ever. She didn't sound as forced as she usually did. Although her claiming to be the one who evolutionized women's wrestling looks funny as she's following Trish out the door.
I had been on the fence about getting Survivor Series, more tempted to buy this one than the ones in years past. Last night's show, has me feeling a lot better about the idea of getting it, and that with the SNF game losing some appeal without McNabb, I'll be watching Sunday.
I only saw the ladder match and the main event, and they were both good, solid, TV matches. If there was crap in between, at least I didn't have to see it. But it sounds liek maybe there wasn't, so that is a good sign.
I have always had a soft spot for the big pier 6 brawl to end a show, which seems to happen at least every year prior to SS, and/or the Rumble.
Dean! Have you been shooting dope into your scrotum? You can tell me! I'm hip!
Originally posted by Tenken347I thought there was some surprisingly good psychology in the Nicky/Dusty match. I mean, it was basically just a squash, but both guys really got over the story of the match - Nicky is at first intimidated by the legend, but then begins to realize he's faster and stronger than Dusty. Dusty counters with his experience, and is able to bust Nicky up with some elbows for the win. Not exactly Match of the Year, but it did it's job, and Nicky really sold those elbows. For something that wasn't anything, I thought it was surprisingly good.
Also, nice touch in Nicky going after the leg Flair and the Andersons broke in the cage in the Omni back in '85. Still not the same for Rhodes without the classic boots. And, though he is 20 plus years past his prime, I'd rather watch Dusty one time than if they had picked Slaughter to get in the ring for the 1000th time. Ladder match was nice. Get away from the heat killer Torrie Wilson before it is to late Carlito. Shelton. Where are you?
Originally posted by Packman V2That had to have been Lita's best promo ever. She didn't sound as forced as she usually did.
Yeah, that was kind of great. It's crazy, though, that Edge and Lita have been an on-screen pair for a year and a half, a main event act for almost a year, and her sluttiness has extensively been the subject of many a John Cena promo, yet they're apparently not going to have an angle to blowoff that relationship? Lita is just going to leave and Edge'll be like "yeah baby I'll miss u, latez" and then start a new fulfilling relationship with Randy Orton?
Kenny wasn't as good on the mic as I expected. It was quite the sight, all the teams coming out....Umaga/Sabu was, surprisingly, a bit more than a squash....Don't tell me they're continuing the Masters/Lawler feud....Nitro needs some more pauses in his interviews- it sounds like he's just remembering script. He and Melina, though, were much better than that press conference from weeks ago....
I liked the little segment of Jeff giving his title to ref Chad Patton before the match backstage....Didn't see much of the Hardy/Nitro match due to the Jags game....Didn't sound like much a reaction when Big Dust came out. Bad match....
Why doesn't Lita use this "pull" to put Mickie in one of these unenviable positions at Survivor Series?....Lita's yelling promo still wasn't that good, but at least she showed some fire....Didn't see the main event, but you had to know it would end with everyone in the ring.
It's nice when all the main event guys are in the same match, as they're usually all seperated into their own little segments each week. It makes for some fun group dynamics, and snarky people like me can have a nice quiet chuckle of the face/heel dynamics of wrestling and how Triple H gets along with Cena and Ric Flair all of a sudden. Tee hee. As immobile as he is, Big Show really looks good in there. I think having smaller guys just bounce off of him is pretty cool.
Originally posted by JustinShapiroIt's crazy, though, that Edge and Lita have been an on-screen pair for a year and a half, a main event act for almost a year, and her sluttiness has extensively been the subject of many a John Cena promo, yet they're apparently not going to have an angle to blowoff that relationship? Lita is just going to leave and Edge'll be like "yeah baby I'll miss u, latez" and then start a new fulfilling relationship with Randy Orton?
They did show Edge nodding along to her promo backstage, so there was that hint that he was behind her decision. Also, she technically said she was just retiring from wrestling, not stopping being Edge's valet. That angle may possibly happen on next week's show. It would be great if they salvaged Mickie's character by having her suddenly turn heel again and hook up with Edge.
"I don't know what is more disquieting -- the fact that the rest of the statue is missing, or that it has four toes."
Thanks for the write-up Oliver. My recap was both late and also entirely half-assed, because I was on a hot date Wednesday night. We went to a concert that appeared to take place entirely inside a Coen brothers movie. Anyhoo.