Tuesday, August 12, 2008

WWE Raw Review 8/11/2008 Pre-Summerslam Showdown

Richmond Virginia gets Raw live, and away we go! We're one week away from Summerslam

John Cena Opening:

John Cena gets booed out of the building, and Richmond hates John Cena. Cena plays to the crowd and then gives a random speech. He makes fun of Smackdown and the build up between Khali and Triple H, and I wonder if he’s ad libbing. He tries to hype the crowd, but gets mixed reactions. I don’t think John Cena is really all that great, but he makes a lot of sense if you break down the whole speech. He said something that I’ve been thinking for a long time, and that is the sheer facts that you don’t need a lot of mindless hype to get over for a wrestling match at the ppv. What you need is just pure fighting, and if WWE really is after a PG rating, they need to stick to wrestling like they did when I was growing up. Before they started to focus on storylines and backstage segments, they just need to have fights break out and have chaos reign. It’s fine to have these in ring segments, but they need to return to form.

How would I book it?

I would have Cena out there flapping his gums as usual. But have Batista not come out of the backstage area through the ramp, but rather come through the crowd and Batista bomb Cena. Sure, it’s a cheap shot, but they should brawl straight through the back and just make it a street fight of sorts until officials break it up. Then at the ppv they should get a double dq leading to a gimmick match at the subsequent ppv. Where did I get that idea? Simple. Remember 1997? The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels did the very same thing. A dq match up, leading to the first ever Hell in a Cell match up. However, lets go back further and think about King of the Ring 1997 that year, and that had Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin facing each other in a “Face vs. Face” match. They ended up with a double DQ and didn’t really wrestle each other for nearly a year, where Stone Cold went over as the new world champion in 1998 at summerslam. That’s how you get heat.

Now as for this segment, where Batista comes out and is the obvious favorite, I’m a little unhinged. I’m not really sure.

Batista made a fatal comment though: He said “John Cena has never changed.” However, Cena has changed! Remember when he was rapping freestyle before each match up? Yeah, when’s the last time we saw that side of Cena? But it doesn’t matter, Batista tries to heel it up somehow but recants each time, forcing me to believe that this match might prove nothing, and we’re headed for a double dq finish or a count out or something stupid like that. Or just like that memorable Hulk Hogan vs. Sting match from Nitro (way back when) we’re going to see a faction of sorts run in and interrupt things for the two and they will each go their separate ways again. But maybe not…this segment ends with nothing important, and the two just leave, and we get to commercial break. It’s stupid if you ask me.

Beth Phoenix defeated Kelly Kelly

Kelly Kelly is so much smaller than Beth, and the Glamazon really puts up a great battle. Kelly did a few roll ups and reversal, but she was out wrestled completely. This match was basically a no contest, you knew what was going to happen. Kelly really took a beating, and Phoenix at times looked as though she was taking liberties with Kelly. Especially with the finisher that Kelly wasn’t too ready for, as she was sent flying to the mat face first.

Post Match Kofi Kingston and Mickie James came in and saved Kelly from further defeat. Santino got on the mic and started to mouth off about their match up for Summerslam. Santino then challenges Kofi Kingston to a match up tonight on Raw, but then says that he wants to wrestle Mickie James not Kingston! Mickie James accepts and Santino says he is going to put her back in the kitchen where she belongs and we’re getting a mixed match up with Santino and Mickie James!

Santino defeated Mickie James

What a great comedic performance for Santino. Santino and Mickie James put on a hilarious romp through an intergender match up. I liked this one a lot, but only for comedic value. There was not a lot of wrestling, and it was nice to see Santino finally get a match up. This match definitely has a lot of spots that looked hilarious and was entertaining to watch, but overall not something that you’re going to remember for a long time. This was a good initial set up for the match up this weekend, that’s for sure. Santino wins with a roll up.

Mike Adamle and Kane Segment:

Kane and Adamle talk about the sack. Adamle looked great, and he didn’t look nervous or intimidated by Kane at all. He then makes a match for later tonight, with Chris Jericho and if Kane loses, we’re going to get to see what’s inside the bag! Kane says that it’s going to be a big mistake.

Priceless Segment:

These guys don’t have much in the backstage department. These guys suck, actually. They heel it up, however, they just don’t have the charisma of their fathers, I’m sorry. These guys could be great, but they need to work on their backstage and on screen charisma. They don’t have a lot of heat just by their presence, and a great tag team could generate heat just by looking at them. These guys just don’t seem like a real threat to me. Sure, they talk a good game at times, but it seems so rehearsed, and they don’t seem upset. If they are truly focused and want those titles, they need to cast a shadow of anger and seriousness, rather than cool, calm, collected and undisturbed. But that’s just me. I’m not a booker, so what do I know right? Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase Jr. really needs something more. They can’t just get over with these lame promo’s that’s for sure.

Cryme Tyme defeated The Highlanders

Way to bury the tag team division WWE! Not so much Cryme Tyme, but the Highlanders. Remember when The Highlanders were getting pushed hard? Now we are getting these squash matches and they are just another pair of jobbers. Cryme Tyme wins this match up with ease, and it doesn’t even show that they did much. It looks like they too have a “mic check” like finisher. Great, just great, no originality, no tag team maneuvers, this is stupid. This match was fast, no non sense, and really boring to me. The WWE once again buries another tag team, but I guess it’s better than a hot shot tag match up.

CM Punk and JBL Segment:

I knew this was going to happen. As soon as they announced that JBL had a contest that Punk couldn’t win, I thought a drinking contest. I’m well versed in the Straightedge scene, and I knew this was something that JBL would do. This was interesting, and it only cast a really good shadow of greatness for Punk. He looked a lot like a jesus figure, battling the devil in a match of temptations. Punk was steadfast and didn’t drink the Whiskey but instead threw it at JBL’s face and then hit a running knee to JBL in the corner. I thought that Punk was going to try and drop JBL through a table, but instead he just left. This segment was really boring to me, and really predictable. I guess more people needed to know about Straightedge or something? I’m not sure. Punk gets over before the big night this weekend, but will he stay champion? I’m not really sure. I think JBL might be a good transitional champion at this point.

Chris Jericho (w/ Lance Cade) defeated Kane

Kane dominated this match up. Chris Jericho in the short tights, looks really weird to me. Kane was in the midst of winning this match up with ease, and Mike Adamle came down to the ring with a lot of security guards. This allowed Jericho to turn the tables, as it were, but only for a moment. Kane immediately got his sack and clutched it to his chest, but that only allowed Chris Jericho to hit his Code Breaker for the win. I didn’t expect Y2J to win this match up, but somehow he pulled off the victory and had Kane in the ring. The more important part of the match definitely was the after thought and post match situation. Kane looked like a little kid, Adamle got into the ring, which was really stupid if you ask me. Jericho immediately cleared the ring and that was it for him. He probably won’t be at Summerslam. Jericho is falling further down the ladder of Raw, and it’s sad. He went from main event, to HBK to lower midcard hell, if not opening match up hell. That is if HBK doesn’t come back for that ultimate revenge. But we’ll have to wait for that after Summerslam. I hope HBK comes back, because Jericho’s wrestling career seems to be at a stand still until the feud is over.

Post Match Kane Segment:

Adamle makes a speech about Kane, he claims that Kane is asking if the monster is alive or dead. The monster being himself, and Adamle does a great job with the crowd. The crowd keeps saying “What” but Adamle plays his cards well. And he keeps pushing Kane about the bag.

Kane pulls out a Rey Mysterio mask! And he laughs a lot before Adamle is left in the ring. This makes no sense, and if it is a way to write off Rey Mysterio off the show or to push his injury recovery a little longer, this is the biggest screw job in WWE history, besides Bret Hart. You want to know a quick way to make your talent obey? Put them into a match up with bigger, stronger guys, only to get injured.

Rey Mysterio can’t possibly maintain a healthy schedule of being if he’s constantly wrestling bigger guys. In WCW he wasn’t as injured because he was wrestling a lot of cruiserweights, who couldn’t accidentally kill the guy. Kane vs. Rey Mysterio, but it can only end badly for Rey Mysterio in the long run. This is stupid, this storyline just got through some stupid motions, that’s for sure.

William Regal defeated Jamie Noble

How did Jamie Noble not get fired? What the heck does he do? Sure, he’s really good and he showed it in this match up. However, there’s no way the WWE is going to push Noble into a title, or beyond the lower card. He’s not even going to get a mid card push if that. Even if he wins every match from this point forward, he can’t get over. Regal makes quick work of Noble via a mistake. Once again, why is Noble still working? He’s the new Funaki, and that’s really sad for Noble. I guess the WWE must pay very well for him to go out there and get beat to hell each night.

Priceless defeated John Cena & Batista

We get the same match we had last week. Cena opens up early, and clears the ring, showing that he’s the true main eventer, making quick work of Priceless. Cena comes across as the heel to Batista’s face, and eventually gets into trouble, before hitting Batista with the hot tag. The match took a speedy turn, and Batista makes the youngsters look really weak. I don’t agree with this at all, but hey, I’m not the booker. The two main eventers really make Priceless look stupid, and I can’t wait for someday Vince McMahon to let the tag team division rise against. Cena keeps pointing to a heel turnover, and I really hope that the WWE turns Cena Heel, because he can get a TON of heat, and he can still still a ton of merchandise. Remember, kids don’t have a lot of disposable income, parents do. So Cena might gain more of a wrestling merch foothold as a heel, just some food for thought that’s all. Batista slaps John Cena for the tag, and here we go! Cena gets in and starts to yell at Batista, Batista then gets head butted by Cena with help from Dibiase running into his back and then Priceless gets the quick roll up for the victory. The new tag team champions jump back in for more, but Cena & Batista work together to fight them off, and the two go their separate ways. Cena is taunted, but heads towards the ramp to a chorus of boos and cheers; Cena comes back to the ring, but there comes security, and they separate the two. Lame.

Raw 8/11/2008 Quick Results:

Beth Phoenix def. Kelly Kelly.
Santino Marella def. WWE Women's Champion Mickie James.
Cryme Tyme def. The Highlanders.
Chris Jericho def. Kane.
William Regal def. Jamie Noble.
Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase def. John Cena & Batista to become the World Tag Team Champions.

There wasn’t a whole lot of wrestling on this show. The little wrestling that was on the show, was really fast and full of short spots. The comedic value of the second match was great, but overall this edition of Raw was horrible for the most part. I am not sure what the WWE is thinking, but the last Raw before the big event this weekend, the WWE could do a lot more to give the fans in attendance some better wrestling. I don’t know, it just seems stupid to me, to have a wrestling show with no wrestling! Sure, there is a little bit of wrestling, but overall nothing worth mentioning. Nothing memorable.

Watching crap like this really makes me miss WCW Nitro. There was a lot of filler, but they had some great matches that were only seen on Nitro and not on the ppv. We’re talking about great title defenses for the tag division, tv title, or even the crusierweight title. The U.S title had some classics on Nitro too, which was great, and it was a great number 2. TNA as number 2 sucks, and Raw this week sucks.

The only thing really worth mentioning about Raw is that Cena and Batista fought each other like Bam Bam Bigelow’s impromptu run ins with Bill Goldberg. Whatever the case is, this show wasn’t all that great, but it was better than nothing. Let’s hope ECW and the rest have a better capacity for wrestling and less for mindless segments.

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