TV REPORTS KELLER'S RAW REPORT 9/19: Ongoing "virtual time" analysis of live broadcast
Sep 19, 2005 - 10:07:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
SEPTEMBER 19, 2005
WICHITA FALLS, TEX.
-Jim Ross, Coach, and Jerry Lawler introduced the show and previewed the top matches including John Cena & Shawn Michaels & Matt Hardy & Big Show vs. Edge & Chris Masters & Gene Snitsky & Kurt Angle plus Ric Flair vs. Carlito in a rematch for the IC Title.
Kay Yeager Colliseum - Wichita Falls, Tex.
-Eric Bischoff walked to the ring with the WWE Hvt. Title belt. He said after the confusion of last night, everyone was wondering what the status was of the WWE Hvt. Title. He said before making a major announcement, he introduced Kurt Angle. Angle walked out with his mouth guard smile and greeted the grinning Bischoff in mid-ring with a hug. Bischoff said the great part about being Raw G.M. was he could do something about it. He said as a result of Cena's flagrant abuse of rules and laying his hands on him, he was stripping Cena of the title. As he was about announce Angle as the new champ, Vince McMahon's music interrupted.
Angle told the svelte-looking McMahon (we had heard he lost a lot of bulk recently) that he was sure McMahon was excited to praise him for the job he did last night at the PPV. When he referred to himself as the WWE Champion, McMahon asked, "Who in the hell named him WWE Champion?" Angle pointed at Bischoff. McMahon told Bischoff he doesn't have the power. Bischoff said Cena put his hands on him. McMahon mocked Bischoff and then yelled in his face, "Shut the hell up!" McMahon said Angle did defeat Cena, but it was a DQ, so Cena retains the title. There were a few boos from deep voices in the crowd ("the haters"), but mostly cheers.
McMahon then announced that Monday, Oct. 3 would be the biggest night in Raw history. He said there would be a WWE Raw Homecoming. He said the Hardcore Legend Mick Foley would be there, along with "The Game" Triple H (mix of cheers and boos), "The Immortal" Hulk Hogan (decent pop), and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (biggest pop, but not deafening from the home state crowd). McMahon said there would be a WWE Championship match. It would feature Cena one-on-one against Eric Bischoff. Bischoff's eyes bugged out of his head. McMahon took Cena's belt off of Bischoff’s shoulder and placed it over his. That lack of mention of USA Network is key, because that means WWE cannot mention the network switch, or less likely for some odd reason is holding off until the final week next week. They need to bring Sgt. Slaughter and Hacksaw Duggan back next week just to encourage the crowd to chant "USA, USA" next week during a segment when talking about the Raw Homecoming.
-Upcoming Raw matches were previewed.
[Commercial Break: Including UFC ad #1]
-Backstage Bischoff tried to talk McMahon out of forcing him to wrestle. He said he isn't a wrestler. McMahon told him he has that "karate stuff" and he'll be okay. McMahon asked Bischoff if he could take some time to think about it. Bischoff was happy with the possible reprieve. McMahon got in his limo, rolled down the window, and then said he thought about it and he thinks he should wrestle. Why is Bischoff worried. All he has to do is recruit wrestlers to interfere on his behalf right away to prompt a DQ. Or bring mace to the ring. Or just bail out as soon as the bell rings and get counted out.
1 -- TRISH STRATUS vs. TORRIE WILSON (w/Candice Michelle, Victoria)
As Candice distracted the ref, Victoria hit Trish. Torrie then rolled up Trish for a near fall. As Torrie yelled at Candice, Trish rolled up Torrie for the win. Torrie attempted to clothesline Trish, but Trish did the Matrix duck and Torrie hit Victoria instead. Candice gave Ashley a guillotine choke. The three-on-two advantage led to the heels giving Trish and Ashley a beating. Victoria gave Trish the Widow's Peak.
WINNER: Torrie at 1:40.
STAR RATING: 1/4*
-Another plug for Flair vs. Carlito.
-The commercial break opened with a WWE spot ad focused on Triple H's return on Oct. 3. It billed it as a special three hour spectacular starting at 8 p.m. (they didn't mention 7:55 as the start time, which means that strategy has been abandoned already or they're just trying to keep it from getting too confusing. Again, no hint of a network change, which if that holds up means a lot of WWE fans will be confused in two weeks when UFC airs instead. When WWE moved from USA to TNN (the former name of Spike), they were allowed to note that during Raw before the switch.
-A clip aired of the World Tag Team Titles changing hands at the PPV the night before.
2 -- HURRICANE (w/Rosey) vs. TREVOR MURDOCH (w/Lance Cade)
Coach said Murdoch is not as dumb as he looks. Lawler said he doesn't think Murdoch looks dumb, he just looks like he's smelling something bad all the time. Ross said Hurricane suffered nerve damage in his shoulder the night before. By 3:30 Hurricane's left shoulder was useless. Murdoch took advantage of that with a snake eyes of sorts followed by a big DDT for the win.
WINNER: Murdoch at 4:05.
STAR RATING: * -- Solid short match.
-Todd Grisham interviewed Carlito backstage. He denied that he tapped out. He said he was reaching for the bottom rope and his hand hit the mat. Grisham offered to play the footage. Carlito said it wasn't necessary. He said he would regain the title in a rematch tonight.
-Another commercial spot aired for Mick Foley's return to Raw on Oct. 3. Again, no hint of a channel switch.
[Commercial Break - Including a "See how it feels when it's real" UFC commercial]
-Edge told Bischoff backstage that he's defeated Hardy every way he knows, but last night he went too far by laying his hands on "my woman." He demanded that Bischoff fire Hardy again. Bischoff didn't take well to Edge's demands. He told Edge he isn't the only one with problems. He said it's become clear he and Hardy can't coexist on Raw, so on WWE Homecoming, he is going to put an end to it all as Edge faces Hardy in a "Loser Leaves Raw" match. He said it wouldn't be just any match, it's going to be Edge vs. Hardy in a ladder match. Edge asked what would be hanging above the ring. Bischoff said his brief case would be hanging over the ring and the winner gets the contract. He said to the loser, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out." Either Hardy's being sent to Smackdown obscurity to job for Orlando Jordan or Ken Kennedy, or Edge is being sent to Smackdown to feud with Batista since he's clearly more ready than Randy Orton to draw as a headliner.
3 -- TYSON TOMKO vs. EDDIE CRAVEN
Lawler, seconds before Tomko KO'd Craven with a big boot, said he's heard a lot of good things about Craven, who is from the area.
WINNER: Tomko at 1:00.
STAR RATING: 1/4*
-They showed freeze-frames of the Flair-Carlito PPV match and then actual footage of Flair's celebration afterward including his post-match speech.
-Carlito's ring entrance took place.
-A commercial aired hyping the return of Hulk Hogan on Oct. 3. Based on the order of announcements and commercials, Austin is being treated as a bigger name than Hogan. All four are being given near equal treatment, which is another indication of the type of sweet talk that McMahon offered Foley to lure him to resigning with WWE. Foley, had he signed with TNA instead, would have relegated himself to secondary status in the legendary hierarchy in WWE's official history perhaps forever, and at least for a very long time.
4 -- RIC FLAIR vs. CARLITO COOL -- IC Title match
Lawler said if he won a title, he would have sat back and relished it a little. Ross touted Flair's work ethic in partying all night and defending the belt the next night, quite reflective of his reputation in his prime. Lawler said winning the IC Title seems to have rejuvenated Flair. Carlito threw a tantrum at ringside after a Flair chop inside the ring. At 4:15 Carlito came back by knocking Flair to ringside. Flair recovered, strutted, and rolled back into the ring, but Carlito immediately stomped away at him in the corner.
---END FIRST HOUR / BEGIN SECOND HOUR---
Flair gasped for air as the camera zoomed in on his swelling eye. Flair fired back with chops at 6:00. The announcers questioned whether Flair's eye would swell shut and affect his vision. Flair set up Carlito for the Golden Globes kick in the corner, but the ref stepped in and saved the third generation of Colon wrestlers. Carlito punched away at Flair. Flair did the face-first dive. Carlito scored a two count at 7:15. Flair came back with - guess - that's right - chops. He grabbed Carlito's apple from ringside, took a bite, and spit it in Carlito's face. Flair rammed Carlito’s head into the ringpost, then chopped him off the apron to the floor. They cut to a break at 11:00.
[Commercial Break -- Including ad for Ultimate Fighter: "Real sport, real drama." Then later came a TNA commercial a minute later - same as last week. Not much time to push the known names in the promotion with face-time.]
They showed footage of Carlito, during the break, ramming Flair into the ringside steps. He then settled into a chinlock to call some spots. Flair's left eyelid was badly swollen. He could use a corner man to protect that eye from permanent damage. Hopefully a physician on call in the back was consulted about whether they should have ended the match earlier than planned to tend to his eye. Flair fought back at 16:30, but after knocking Carlito down, he flopped to the mat, too. He stood up, chopped Carlito again to the mat, strutted, and set up his elbow. Carlito rolled out of the way. Flair paused and then followed Carlito a few feet and dropped the elbow. Nice touch. Carlito fired back with a clothesline at 17:15 for a two count. Flair made another comeback and threw some punches at Carlito's face point-blank. The astute director pulled to a different camera view after the first punch showed some light. Flair went to the top rope. Would it work a second night in a row. Carlito got up to slam him. Flair punched him and then came off with a forearm. Coach said he couldn't believe it worked two nights in a row. Flair clipped Carlito from behind. Carlito begged off, but then yanked Flair out of the ring by the trunks. Back in the ring, Flair kicked the middle rope into Carlito's crotch as he reentered the ring, then applied the figure-four. Carlito tapped out. Flair grabbed the middle rope for leverage, giving Carlito "an out" for losing the second night in a row to the near senior citizen.
WINNER: Flair at 20:29 via submission.
STAR RATING: ***1/4 -- Wow. In some ways, hardly an amazing athletic display by either, but they kept the crowd involved and kept it interesting despite Flair's limited offense (very limited).
-Grisham interviewed Hardy backstage. As he began talking about facing Edge in two weeks, Shawn Michaels stepped in. He talked for a few seconds, then Big Show joined in. Then Cena did, and he attested to Big Show being the biggest in wrestling because he said he had seen him in the shower. Cena took the lead in the promo, touting each partner. He said regarding Hardy, "Who wouldn't want a partner who will not die?" Cena then went to Grisham and asked what he is good at. Grisham said he can do the robot, then did the robot dance. Cena said, "Wonderful." Michaels then leaned in and said, "We're out." Good promo in that Hardy got a rub for sharing the screen with the other three headliners, Cena got a rub for being the leader in the promo despite the tenure of Show and Michaels, and overall it helped show the unity of the babyface team in the TV main event. Hardy's placement in this match shows that either management planned to push him all along but wanted to test him at first, or the tremendous fan support for Hardy (and his willingness to leap off the cage and do what he has been told all along) has made management reevaluate their stance on Hardy's current place within the hierarchy. Hardy also benefited from standing eye-to-eye with Cena and Michaels, opening some people's eyes to the fact that he's not a Cruiserweight, but is just as tall as two other top tier headliners.
-The Raw Homecoming commercial featuring Steve Austin then aired.
-Maria interviewed Flair. She asked what happened to his eye. Flair said it was nothing more than a battle scar from a hard night's work. She asked why he's called The Nature Boy. He said because he can go all night long. Maria got tingly all over. Flair said he knows how to separate business and pleasure, and gave newer fans one of the first real tastes of his promos 20 years ago in his prime when he was the centerpiece of shows and exuded charisma and credibility. Carlito confronted Flair about not being cool. Flair punched Carlito. They brawled. Chris Masters joined in and the heels doubled Flair, leaving him lying on the floor. Carlito spit an apple on him.
-A video aired featuring highlights from Unforgiven, including Hardy launching off the top of the cage, but they froze the move in mid-air and then went on to plug the encore presentation of Unforgiven.
-They replayed the attack on Flair before the break. Then they showed Lawler, Ross, and Coach on camera as they previewed the TV main event.
-The ever-more-important Smackdown Rebound aired focused on the Undertaker vs. Orton main event.
-Ring introductions took place for all eight wrestlers in the main event.
[Commercial Break - Now we're talking. By far the promo yet for TNA Impact aired. Transcript: "These are their faces (Rhino, Monty Brown, Chris Harris, Jeff Jarrett, Kip Sopp/Billy Gunn, Christopher Daniels, A.J. Styles, and Raven, but no Samoa Joe or Jeff Hardy). Some you may know. Some you may not. But you will come to know them once you see them in action. Spike TV brings you TNA Wrestling - Total Nonstop Action - a fresh spin on the sport for the new breed of athletes. Fearless, merciless, and heroic all with one goal - to stay alive in the six sides. Here talk is cheap because action just speaks louder. TNA premiers Oct. 1 at 11 on Spike TV." Not sure why Samoa Joe and Jeff Hardy were excluded. Hardy is the most marketable of the faces they have under contract. Joe is understandable if only from a tenure standpoint and lack of national exposure. Kevin Nash should have been added, also, even if he is only scheduled at this point for the next TV taping and PPV and hasn't signed a contract for anything beyond that. Hardy was shown doing a Swanton, but it wasn't obviously him. Other highspots aired. TNA couldn't have written a better dream scenario six months ago than this, other than the mediocre timeslot Saturday nights. Being packaged with UFC, though, means the built-in demographic will be there for them.]
5 -- MATT HARDY & SHAWN MICHAELS & JOHN CENA & BIG SHOW vs. EDGE & CHRIS MASTERS & KURT ANGLE & GENE SNITSKY
This is arguably the biggest televised match in Hardy's career, or at least top two or three along with his televised TLC and his Smackdown main event against Rey Mysterio for the Cruiserweight Title. It puts him in the mix with the biggest names. At 4:15 Masters locked Hardy in the Masterlock. Show broke it up with a headbutt.
Hardy took a beating for a while, but hit Snitsky with a Twist of Fate. He then hot-tagged Michaels, who nailed Angle with a flying burrito. Michaels went for a top rope elbow, but Angle moved and Michaels crash landed. Angle went for an Angle Slam. Michaels escaped. Angle, though, quickly locked on the anklelock. Michaels sold it convincingly. Show broke the hold. Chaos soon broke out with a brawl mid-ring with everyone. Angle lifted and dumped Show over the top rope to the floor.
Angle gave Michaels an Angle Slam at 18:00. Hardy broke up the pin attempt. Masters knocked Hardy out of the ring. Ankle went for another anklelock. Michaels kicked out and went for a hot tag to Cena. Edge entered and speared Cena off the ring apron. Michaels reached for a tag, but no one was there. Michaels hit Edge with an enzuigiri. Both men were down as Show struggled to be the first one back to the ring apron for a hot-tag. He was fuming and shaking as Michaels tagged him in. He nailed Edge with a clothesline, then Angle, Masters, and Snitsky. He crushed Angle and Edge in one corner, then splashed Snitsky and Masters in the opposite. Show then signalled for a chokeslam. Snitsky low-blowed out of it. Edge surprised Show with a spear for a near fall at 21:00. All the heels ganged up on Show. Show stood and shoved them all off. "Good gawd!" said Ross. An eight-way brawl broke out. Cena tossed Snitsky out of the ring. "It's breaking down in Wichita Falls!" said Ross. Show tossed Hardy onto Masters and Angle at ringside. Cena then suplexed Edge to the mat, then went into his You Can't See Me routine. Show then gave Edge a chokeslam. All four babyfaces covered Edge, which Michaels sitting upright on Hardy's back who was on top of Cena who was lying on Show. It led to a three count. Show carried Michaels on his shoulder afterward.
WINNER: Michaels & Show & Hardy & Cena at 23:00.
STAR RATING: ***1/2 -- Good, star-power-filled, all action main event with a satisfying, creative finish (if you can accept the referee counting to three when Edge was piled on by four opponents at once).
We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show for a "Raw Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Raw, click here.
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