I have to agree with the general sentiment...what a dull, dull RAW. Having Lestat show up in the final segment to drag down the end of the show didn't help - and having him book Batista into a match with Angle pre-PPV makes Batista seem a little dim-witted. And another RAW Wedding? Bah.
I'm going twenty-four hours a day...I can't seem to stop - "Turn Up The Radio", Autograph
Wiener Of The Day - June 10th, 2003 W Of The Day - September 11th, 2004 (add spooky music here)
After starting to deal with contracts a bit more at work, watching last night's show brought me to a hunch:
Why is WWE front-loading RAW so much? If the contract between WWE and Viacom is to have SmackDown! on Thurs/Fri. nights, then it's going to be SmackDown, but ECW-flavored.
If WWE/Viacom's deal asks for a show, is this the new home for ECW starting in the fall?
Look at how the rosters are looking up to be -- you've got Angle and Cena moved safely away from SD; Rhyno's been "fired" from WWE/RAW and Benoit's been drafted over there. If Tajiri is drafted over to SD and Booker T, for instance, is drafted to RAW, something's up.
With judicial use of the remote, last night's show was good. Really good.
The Lovely Mrs. Tracker had never seen a springboard armdrag before, and her love for Shelton increased tenfold. She thought he invented that move until I told her the cruiserweights usually start the sequence by hopping on the top rope first and then saulting off of it. That dropped the Shelton love to a mere fivefold increase, and I don't blame her. He DID leap from the mat into the 90-degree sitting position. She also noted how huge the IC belt looks on him because he's so fit. But DAMMIT Hassan can't work a match. Has he had one clean bout -- one not marred by bad timing or transitions -- since he showed up? Shelton can only do so much here, and all of his matches with Hassan have been subpar because of Hassan. Even the mini-feud with Snitsky wasn't this patchwork. But I will blame Shelton for not properly selling a SWANK elbow-drop neckbreaker variation by Hassan. He's got some good moves; he just can't move smoothly between them.
I'm starting to enjoy the Masters segments. He's an outright heel, a pure jerk, and he's fun to boo. His facial expressions against Slaughter were top-notch, and he's doing a good job of selling. He may have cracked our beloved Stevie, but he's getting better out there. Slowly. Surely. What's he's doing is no worse than Angle's Gold Medal Challenge, and I can only hope that's now over; we can't have both gimmicks on one show, can we?
I can only hope Christian pulls a DDP here and takes the title. Thank God they brought Cena and his belt over so now the top midcarders can have a heavyweight title to feud over. If Triple H and Batista were suddenly absent, this would be your biggest angle. And it's already much more interesting becuase it's NEW.
I do not approve of the Viscera angle anymore. There's something about the rasslin standby that a woman can be kidnapped and return with Stockholm Syndrome. And it was done in a much more entertaining fashion with Hurricane and Molly. I also do NOT want to see Viscera dry hump the asses of his opponents. And I'm not too keen on him doing this, so far anyway, to other black performers. I'm no fan of being PC; this just (forgive me) rubs me the wrong way.
I LOVED the last segment with Angle's return. He immediately made Triple H a better performer on the mic. The Woo duel was fun. But nothing beat the timing and energy of HBK's sudden return to pick up the pre-injury continuity, perfectly foreshadowed by Angle.
"That's gimmick infringement, and you KNOW it!"
I liked this show. Not all of it. But a lot of it. And tonight, finally, I can see the ECW PPV.
(edited by Matt Tracker on 14.6.05 0831) "To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
For the first time in quite a while, I laughed when the crowd did the "WHAT~?!" chant to Austin. It's kinda cool once every six months. Let's leave it at that, folks. As for the match, I'm pretty certain I'm going to be voting for Shelton for Wrestler Of The Year. Nice match, and I could get into a longer program between Hassan and Benjamin.
Yeah, I marked for Sarge.
I really do think Cena is a better fit on Raw where he can spout off without pissing off the censors. As for Jericho's attack afterward, the first thing I thought was that a Cena/Jericho program could be pretty cool. The second thing I thought was enjoy Smackdown, Christian. Two things to be mentioned for the post-attack attack by Cena, the strategically placed ECW road cases and best of all: CLANGY PIPES~!
It didn't take long for Lillian to get the bondage-lover make-over. Vizzagra. OK, I giggled.
I really wonder if they aren't setting Edge up to get traded to Smackdown, taking his Money in the Bank contract with, then that is how they could get a belt back on SD!
I'm really digging this draft lottery thing, cuz at least there is SOME sort of suspense when watching, and it paid off again. Angle. Very cool.
Line of the night: King - "I think we just saw our first whoo-off." The fans around ringside with the 15-20 signs spelling "W-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O" was a really good idea for signage. Flair and Angle Whoo-ing each other is one of the funniest things I have seeen in a long, long time. Angle telling Hunter about making out with his wife behind his back almost made me go get my old tape out. Wasn't that Summerslam '99 when Angle left the PPV carrying Stephanie and her memory was fuzzy for a week or two while in the hospital? (The only reason I remember that is that it was in MPLS!)
THEN: H-B-K. This PPV is really starting to look GOOD. Now, who's going to SD this week, HMMMMMMMMM????????????
I was completely expecting the Draft to be The Big Show. With HHH talking about how it's his show and nobody can stop him, I started thinking who it could possibly be. Who can they take away from SD who would provide a decent pop and threat to Hunter (in the eyes of the fans), but wouldn't be a huge blow to SD if they lost him. The Big Show was all I could think of, especially since he hasn't been involved in much of an angle lately.
When Angle came out, I was quite surprised. That's two of the major top stars from Smackdown being drafted to RAW. RAW has to lose some of their major stars to make it even. Benoit was a good start, but he really wasn't doing much on RAW lately, so he really wasn't that big of a loss.
With Angle to RAW, I think the next best Draft pick would be HBK to Smackdown. HBK has been off of RAW for a few weeks and doesn't have much of an angle, besided Angle himself. But a two week build up for one of the most anticipated rematches of the year? No. Send HBK to SD to prolong that match. Plus, it ups the "anything can happen in the Draft" because this week set up a match with the two next week on RAW. But with HBK getting drafted, that obviously wouldn't happen and would make people want to see it even more when it finally does happen. Next WM perhaps?
I was seriously underwhelmed by Cena. Is he always that bad in the ring?
Having never seen Masters before, I have to say he certainly LOOKS the part of a potential big star. He was pretty good on the mic in that segment (though I thought practically copying Randy Orton's exact walk down the ramp wasn't really a way to stand out)...has he wrestled yet?
The last segment was GREAT, and HHH was great on the entire show, but while Lita looks great I found myself flipping to (no kidding) "Behind the Music: The Backstreet Boys" during a LOT of the second hour.
“To get ass, you’ve got to bring ass." -- Roy Jones Jr.
"Your input has been noted. I hope you don't take it personally if I disregard it." -- Guru Zim
Originally posted by mikebukShe's getting so many short ends on the stick, and this 'wedding' next week is another unfortunate angle she keeps getting put in.
They have to do something or cut her. She can't wrestle with that knee, and she's not built to compete with the other divas in swimsuit or underwear contests. She's getting a lot of face time on TV, and she almost always has a mic. Victoria wasn't on this week despite sparking a feud with Christy just two weeks ago and expanding it last week.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Originally posted by MonteCarlI was completely expecting the Draft to be The Big Show. With HHH talking about how it's his show and nobody can stop him, I started thinking who it could possibly be. Who can they take away from SD who would provide a decent pop and threat to Hunter (in the eyes of the fans), but wouldn't be a huge blow to SD if they lost him. The Big Show was all I could think of, especially since he hasn't been involved in much of an angle lately.
I wasn't expecting angle either. When Bischoff/HHH were talking about letting a Smackdown superstar talk to Batista face to face, I was thinking it would be The Undertaker, who hasn't been doing anything for a long while. He'd then give some HitC advice to Batista.
Who could they bring in for Smackdown that would have the same impact as Angle and Cena? Those two were the top face and top heel of the show. Benoit offset the loss of Cena, but who can Smackdown get that would make up for the loss of Angle?
Right now, your choices for top heel are JBL and Eddie. JBL’s good on the mic, but loses it in the ring. Eddie’s great in the ring, but he’s like Taker – he’s hard to keep as a heel, because the fans usually want to cheer him.
On the Raw side, the next biggest heels after HHH and Angle are going to be Edge, Christian, Orton and Jericho. They’re all capable heels, but I’m not sure that any of them can be the “it” guy that Angle was for Smackdown.
Sargent Slaughter was gold, and made me sit through the Masterpiece segment even though the outcome was the MOST predictable bit of the night. Slaughter never sold the low blow as an escape to the Cobra Clutch when he was an active wrestler. I don't mind using washed up stars to build a new character up to try to get him over, as long as they make it entertaining. Slaughter on the mic calling Masterpiece puke, scum, and making us wait til he dug out the "Maggot" line. Too bad for Val Venus, he's well below a long since retired performer on the pecking order.
I enjoyed Shelton/Hassan (w/ Daivari) and especially Steve. I hope it leads to somewhere, I wouldn't mind Hassan getting the rub if Austin can still go.
While it's not saying much, this perhaps was Lita's best mic work to date.
Would it have hurt Snitsky so much if he had called Lita a slut, or dropped a "you screwed Matt" line and walked away? At the same time, if I were him I wouldn't walk away from Lita giving me a kiss.
Lilian/Vizzagra - meh.
Wasn't Angle recently bragging about being the longest tenured Smackdown performer? I was looking forward to another round of Angle/Benoit, but Angle/HBK will do nicely.
Christian may get a run at the belt after all. I didn't like him in a 1-1 with Cena, but with Jerijobber thrown in, his chances look a whole lot better at winning the strap, then being drafted to SD! where he will return as a "savior" for the brand...
Originally posted by JayJayDeanI found myself flipping to (no kidding) "Behind the Music: The Backstreet Boys" during a LOT of the second hour.
Whew ... glad I wasn't the only one ... kudos to you JJD for being man enough to admit it.
RAW was okay in my eyes. I literally thought that the Undertaker was coming out at the end. Sorta surprised to see Angle.
Originally posted by Teppan-YakiLook at how the rosters are looking up to be -- you've got Angle and Cena moved safely away from SD; Rhyno's been "fired" from WWE/RAW and Benoit's been drafted over there. If Tajiri is drafted over to SD and Booker T, for instance, is drafted to RAW, something's up.
Nice observation. If the US title suddenly becomes the TV title, then we're REALLY onto something. I somehow see Orlando Jordan having to defend the title against Benoit soon.
Originally posted by JayJayDeanI was seriously underwhelmed by Cena. Is he always that bad in the ring?
Without trying to start heat with any huge Cena fans, IMO yes. I would agree that Cena's character is done well (perhaps because it is just a "larger than life" self?) and is WAY over with most of the fans. And merchandise-wise, he is a dream. But I don't really think he's got a lot to his in-ring wrestling ability--and that being said, I think he has actually improved somewhat.
I have always enjoyed Cena's entertainment but his wrestling has never done that much for me...
"The ballplayer who loses his head, who can't keep his cool, is worse than no ballplayer at all." --Lou Gehrig
Originally posted by Submit2theXFaceWithout trying to start heat with any huge Cena fans, IMO yes. I would agree that Cena's character is done well (perhaps because it is just a "larger than life" self?) and is WAY over with most of the fans. And merchandise-wise, he is a dream. But I don't really think he's got a lot to his in-ring wrestling ability--and that being said, I think he has actually improved somewhat.
I have always enjoyed Cena's entertainment but his wrestling has never done that much for me...
I don't know, I thought Cena was pretty good last night -- one of the few highlights. He's not Shelton with the amazing technical wrestling style, but he's got a good Rock-esque style of showing personality in the ring with his movements and expressions despite the limited number of moves. It helps that he was in a tag match, so he didn't have to carry the thing himself.
Cena's limited, yes, but for normal TV matches he covers his gaps well with his *cough* acting talent. Whether or not this works for a long PPV match is something else entirely but I think he'll fit in well on Raw in terms of the in-ring style they specialize in.
Originally posted by Matt TrackerI do not approve of the Viscera angle anymore. There's something about the rasslin standby that a woman can be kidnapped and return with Stockholm Syndrome. And it was done in a much more entertaining fashion with Hurricane and Molly. I also do NOT want to see Viscera dry hump the asses of his opponents. And I'm not too keen on him doing this, so far anyway, to other black performers. I'm no fan of being PC; this just (forgive me) rubs me the wrong way.
It was hardly a case of kidnap. Lilian had been showing signs of falling for his charms as the weeks went by and didn't look reluctant at all to be carried out by Big Vis a few weeks back.
I really don't get the whole "black on black" thing. Quite a few people on the net seem to be bringing it up and I honestly don't understand the difference between Vis doing it to a white guy or doing it to a black guy. It didn't even cross my mind that it could somehow be construed as a racist thing.
Onto the show itself.
I just can't get into Shelton Benjamin at all. He has a load of pretty moves but I just don't care about him. Austin's appearance was pointless and not really all that entertaining, but it was a nice semi-rub for Benjamin I guess.
Cena looked horrible in the tag match. I swear 90% of his offense in the match was just clumsily running and bumping into people who had to try and sell it as an actual attack. His attempts at clotheslines were just embarassing. Jericho and Christian should easily be able to carry him at the PPV though.
The ending segment was really fun, especially the Flair/Angle portion. I wasn't surprised at Angle showing up because I'd expected it to be him during the whole show, but Michaels returning was a really nice surprise. It's actually the first time I've been pissed off at them booking a really strong single-brand PPV since I didn't want to have to buy it. All was going fine until they announced Michaels/Angle
Other random notes: Lita was very good on the mic (for Lita anyway). Kane is hopeless at "emotional" matches so I don't hold out much hope for his PPV match. Masters/Slaughter was fun, and I enjoyed Viscera as usual.
FWIW, a friend of mine is working on the movie Batista just did with RVD, and he says plans for a Batista centered sequel were halted a couple weeks ago because of him getting hurt. So I doubt him being out is any sort of conspiracy scheme.