TV REPORTS KELLER'S RAW REPORT 6/26: Ongoing "virtual time" analysis of live show
Jun 27, 2005 - 10:08:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
JUNE 27, 2005
-Jim Ross, Jonathan Coachman, and Jerry Lawler introduced the show. No explanation was given last night or tonight why Coach has been added to the Raw team.
-Kurt Angle walked out and said he beat Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania, and Michaels got lucky last night. He said because he made Michaels tapout at the biggest show ever, that counts as two wins. He teased the crowd with a rematch, but he said it wouldn't happen because he's focusing on Batista. He referred to himself as The Man. That prompted Ric Flair's theme music. Flair walked out. Angle seemed suspicious of his intentions. Flair shook Angle's hand and said he admires him. He said in his book he said he has a chance to be the greatest ever. He added that his son is a great amateur wrestler, and he hopes his son grows up to be like Angle, not himself. "I'm a mark for you, Kurt Angle, I'm a mark," he said. "You're that good." He said as much as he admires him, he can't agree that he's The Man. He said that title belongs to Triple H. He said he went through hell last night and thus couldn't be present at Raw. The crowd didn't sound particularly disappointed. Angle told Flair that he is looking at the best in the business, and he should take himself to the back, drink his Ensure, take a nap, and walk himself out of the ring before he gets hurt. Flair responded: "Did you ever crash in an airplane? That's what I call getting hurt. You shoot on me, I'm going to put my finger through your eye. If you put a hold on me I can't get out of, I'm going to bite your finger off. Then I'll grab you by the testicles and I'm gonna pull. I'm gonna hurt you if you screw with me." Flair took off his jacket and laughed. Angle told Flair that he's proven he's the dirtiest player in the game. Angle said he tried to be nice, but if Flair's not careful, he's going to ask Eric Bischoff for a match against him. "I don't care what you've done in your life, that's one thing you don't want," said Angle. Flair said Vince McMahon is sitting at home drooling over the prospects of that match. Angle proposed they wrestle one-on-one for the first time ever. Within WWE this afternoon, there was great excitement about plans for this week's episode, and they're off to a nice start with a strong exchange between Flair and Angle.
-Ross plugged that the final two Smackdown draft lottery picks would be revealed. Coach plugged the Raw Diva Search Finalists would be in the house. Lawler plugged a Bischoff interview regarding John Cena was next.
-They went to footage from Sunday night of Christian and Chris Jericho arguing. Bischoff said he was putting those two and Tyson Tomko in a tag match against John Cena where he got to pick his partners. Christian and Jericho said he wouldn't be able to find a partner because he had no friends on Raw. Bischoff said then it would be a handicapped match.
-Edge and Gene Snitsky came to the ring to face Kane and the latest draft pick. Kane charged to the ring and brawled with Edge and chased he and Lita through the crowd. Bischoff stepped out and said Snitsky would now have to face his biggest Smackdown draft lottery pick yet, and "it's not my fault." Out came Big Show.
1 -- BIG SHOW vs. GENE SNITSKY
They went back and forth in the opening minute, then Show took over control. Show eventually finished off Snitsky with a chokeslam. Ross noted how the draft lottery had been very kind to Raw.
WINNER: Show at 2:10.
STAR RATING: 1/2*
-Maria was going to interview John Cena backstage, but she forgot her question. Cena told her to go gather herself and return when she had her question figured out. Cena said he found himself a partner. In walked Shawn Michaels. Michaels said he hadn't had time to welcome Cena to the "snake pit that is Raw." He said he also secured the mystery partner, who was on his way to the arena. Maria returned and said she remembered her question. "Have you found a partner yet?" Cena said yes and walked away. Michaels told Maria she was spectacular. Maria smiled.
-They showed Raw Diva candidates backstage getting ready for their live TV debut.
-Backstage Edge guarded the locker room door as Lita snuck into Kane's locker room. Kane snuck up behind Lita and threw her onto the couch. He told Lita as she breathed heavily in a panic that it was time for him to have his fun now that she had hers. He vowed he was going to make her life a living hell. Then he released her throat and walked away.
-Chris Masters said he has raised his prize money to $14,000. Tajiri came out. Masters asked if he understood that it wasn't 14,000 yen, but was American dollars worth much more. Tajiri said he understood. Tajiri went after Masters with his signature rapid-fire kicks and then applied the Tarantula. As Tajiri went for a springboard back elbow, Masters nailed him with a blow to the back of his head and then applied the Master Lock to KO Tajiri. Masters then demanded respect. He bent over and asked Tajiri if he was willing to give him respect. Tajiri sprayed the green mist at his face. Masters screamed in pain and rubbed his eyes, rolling to ringside in a frantic panic.
-Carlito walked out for the premiere edition of Carlito's Cabana. He said he is going to overtake Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel as the no. 1 talk show on Raw. He told the fans not to worry about any Fozzy music being played on his segment. He then bragged about replacing Shelton Benjamin as the IC Champion. Carlito said he had bad news, and that was the final Raw Draft Lottery Pick was a lemon. He said he didn't want to make a big deal out of it, and then RVD's music played. Rob Van Dam limped to the ring in a knee brace. RVD and Carlito battled back and forth verbally in an entertaining segment. RVD said he's back to being Mr. Monday Night. When Carlito referred to RVD as a lemon, RVD said he thinks of Carlito as a fruit. Carlito brought up RVD's promo at One Night Stand. He made fun of RVD saying "cool" and "dude" a lot. RVD said the last time he saw Carlito, he was getting his "ass smoked" by the hardcore wrestlers of ECW. RVD said he is going to keep speaking. He said nobody has ever seen someone like him before. He said his unique high-risk moves make him one-of-a-kind. He said "high-risk" as if to make fun of people who criticize him for that. He said his rehab has been going great. In the end, Carlito attacked RVD and went after his knee. It seemed they lost their place a few times during the promo as they had a few responses that didn't seem applicable to what had just been said.
2 -- RIC FLAIR vs. KURT ANGLE
Flair got in some early chops and struts. Angle looked wide-eyed at Flair after Flair bit his hand to escape a mat hold. Flair then raked Angle's eyes to force Angle off of him again. In the corner, Flair raked Angle's eyes and then chopped his chest. Angle fired back with a series of European uppercuts. Angle threw Flair to ringside. Flair, though, rammed Angle's head into the ringside steps. Angle gave Flair an overhead belly-to-belly suplex before they cut to a break.
When Angle applied an STF, Flair bit his thumb. Flair came back and went to the top rope. Coach said that never worked before and won't work now. Angle caught Flair up there. Flair seemed to slip and lost his balance and fell to the floor. Angle grabbed Flair at ringside and threw him into the ring. Flair cut off Angle's offense by grabbing his testicles. He followed up with a figure-four leglock. Angle teased tapping out at 13:00. Angle reversed it, but Flair rolled through. Angle then grabbed the bottom rope to force the break. Flair was limping and either was selling well or looked like he shouldn't be in the ring anymore. Angle gave Flair one back suplex. Flair grabbed the ref and then mule kicked him. As Flair lifted Angle and was going to jam his knee on his knee, Angle rolled into an anklelock. Flair tapped out. Angle raised his arms, then lowered them and clutched his crotch as he walked to the back.
WINNER: Angle at 16:10.
STAR RATING: **3/4 -- It was a match Angle said in last week's IGN interview that he wanted to have - a singles match with Flair. He got it, and it felt like two legends trying hard to have a really good match. Given Flair's age and physical limitations, they had a hell of a match, but I was scared for Flair during the match. He didn't look confident or comfortable in the second half of the match. But when all was said and done, given Flair's cheating tactics it felt credible that he was able to hang with Angle, and so they put together an above-average grueling battle.
-Smackdown Rebound aired.
-Coach hosted the Raw Diva Search segment and introduced Christy Hemme. The Divas Candidates introduced themselves by dancing and stripping. Viscera came out to observer and dance with the women. He played a babyface by telling Coach to shut his mouth so the women could do their thing. Viscera told the women they couldn't afford to be bashful and needed to loosen up. Sgt. Slaughter came out onto the stage and said next week the women had to report for duty as the eliminations would begin.
-Todd Grisham interviewed Batista. He said last night Hell in a Cell took a lot out of him, but it was all worth it because he's still the World Hvt. Champion. "It does not get any bigger than that."
-Christian asked Jericho and Tomko who the final partner was for Cena and Michaels. When Jericho suggested Marty Jannetty, Christian said he heard Jannetty was in jail. When Jericho suggested Kevin Nash, Jericho said Nash would tear a hamstring just picking up the phone. They said since they're in L.A., perhaps Michaels would call his friend from Hollywood, implying Hulk Hogan.
-John Cena and Shawn Michaels came out. Michaels then introduced the third member of the team, "his favorite tag team partner ever," Hulk Hogan. Hogan came out to a huge ovation.
3 -- JOHN CENA & SHAWN MICHAELS & HULK HOGAN vs. CHRIS JERICHO CHRISTIAN & TYSON TOMKO
Ross said he couldn't believe when he heard Hulk Hogan's music and then saw him come out. Cena began the match, then tagged in Michaels at 1:00. Michaels worked the opening minutes and took a beating from the heel threesome. Christian mocked Cena with the hand wave in front of his face. Michaels crawled over and hot-tagged Hogan at 5:00. Hogan beat up the heels, made a superman comeback, and gave Tomko a Big Boot and a legdrop for the win. Yes, Hogan can still do the legdrop. Hogan raised the arms of Michaels and Cena. Cena looked wide-eyed. "It makes me feel so young to see Hogan, Cena, and Michaels," said Ross. "What a night on Monday Night Raw." Cena and Michaels posed with Hogan. Then Cena stepped out of the ring and let Hogan and Michaels pose together. Michaels wore a Hogan bandana. Ross called it a sign of respect. Cena then bowed on the stage toward Hogan and Michaels. "These are the nights that remind you of why you love the business, why you been a fan all your life," said Ross. He said he didn't want the night to end. He said we may never see those three in the ring together again. Ross called it an extraordinary night.
WINNER: Cena at 6:30.
STAR RATING: *1/4 -- Formula, but it worked. It's good to have a feel-good ending to Raw and this was designed and executed to be one of those nights.
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As always after Raw, the Torch Roundtable Reviews will be sent out via email to Torch VIP ESub members and posted exclusively at the ad-free VIP version of PWTorch.com later tonight. Bruce Mitchell's Mojo Stream of Conscious Commentary will also be emails to members shortly.
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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
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He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
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