TV REPORTS 12/12 WWE Raw review: Dusty Giebink’s Raw Deal report
Dec 13, 2005 - 1:52:00 AM
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By Dusty Giebink, Torch Team Wisconsin Dream
WWE Raw review
December 12, 2005
Live from Boston, Mass.
Aired on USA Network
Report by Dusty Giebink, PWTorch.com Raw Brand Specialist
Before I start the Raw Deal review, let’s go down to the studio for the pre-game show!
IRS: Welcome everyone to the latest edition of the Raw Deal Pre Game Report! I’m your host, Irwin R. Schyster, and joining me as always are The Mountie, Adam Bomb, and Giant Gonzalez. After last week’s show-long angle centered around Eric Bischoff eventually losing his job as General Manager of Raw, this show will potentially feature the naming of his replacement. What do you guys think?
Adam Bomb: I maintain that it has to be Shane McMahon, because they’ve spent so much television time already focused around how Shane would be just the man to take Bischoff’s job, should he lose it. It wouldn’t make sense to me for it to be anyone else at this point. Giant Gonzalez: Well, my friend, while I respect and value your opinion, I feel that you are sadly mistaken. I believe the next General Manager should be none other than Shane McMahon! I know that might shock you. I know you might be in awe of my proclamation. However, I simply feel as though it is the right move to make for Raw. Adam Bomb: And that’s exactly what I just said. You weren’t listening to me at all, were you? And that was from a script again, wasn’t it? Giant Gonzalez: Quiet you! It’s difficult for me to concentrate on reading off this well-crafted script while having to listen to imbeciles like you at the same time!
IRS: Oh my, things are getting hot and heavy in the studio once again! Mountie, what do you think about this situation? Mountie: I’ve heard rumblings that the next General Manager could be someone from outside the McMahon family. Maybe it’ll be Jerry Jarrett. Maybe it’ll be Dusty Rhodes. Let the Mountie tell you a little secret right now, though. IRS: What’s that? Mountie: The Mountie was offered the job, but the dollar figure was much too low for a man of my stature! And I know what you’re going to say, so don’t, or else you’ll taste my shock stick! Because the Mountie always gets his man! IRS: On that note, let’s go down to the ring to start things off!
The show began with clips from last Monday’s Raw, where Vince McMahon came to the ring in a garbage truck. He announced there would be a Trial of Eric Bischoff, where it would be determined rightly whether Bischoff would lose his job, or remain on Raw as the General Manager. They then cut to courtroom footage, complete with People’s Court style music playing in the background. Music to bang your head to, is what I’m saying. Bischoff pleaded his case at the end, but then John Cena came out and talked about free speech and such. Ultimately, McMahon decided to fire Bischoff. Cena gave him an F-U, McMahon tossed him in the back of the trash truck and we all lived happily ever after.
Vince McMahon came out to the ring to start things off right proper. McMahon’s mic wasn’t working properly at first, so he chucked it up into the air and let it crash to the floor. He then quickly got a replacement one. Interesting little side note there. He talked about firing Bischoff’s ass (and presumably, the rest of his body as well), and then wished Bischoff and his family a Merry Christmas, which Coach noted was completely sincere. Moving along, he turned his attention to who would be the new GM of Raw. Maybe it would be Stephanie McMahon. Maybe it would be Shane McMahon. He said former Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein needs something to do now, so it might be him. And it might be Ted Turner himself, fixin’ to get back into the wrasslin’ business. He said the interview process to determine a new GM would begin tonight, but in the time being he would name an interim GM: You guessed it (no, it’s not Frank Stallone this time either), Vince himself. He said he would pick up where Bischoff left off, and that tonight we would know every single person in the Elimination Chamber match for the World Title that would be the main event of the next Raw PPV. There was to be five qualifying matches on this show to determine the five competitors that would face Cena in the Chamber match-up. He then said the first match was coming up next, and with Bischoff gone from the leadership position, the fans would not be censored in whatever they wanted to chant at the wrestler about to come to the ring.
(1) Kurt Angle defeated Ric Flair. He meant Kurt Angle. Flair started off with a side headlock takedown and worked him over on the mat. Angle begged off in the corner. Angle worked over Flair in an opposite corner with punches and such. Flair reversed things and chopped and punched away on Angle in typical Flair fashion. Moments later, though, Angle hit a German suplex. He held on but Flair made it to the ropes. Flair worked some chops, but Angle turned tide with a belly-to-back suplex. Angle went for the anklelock and Coach was ready to declare him the victor. Flair finally made it to the ropes. Flair rolled to the outside as they cut to a break in action.
Back from break, and Angle was working over Flair on the mat. Angle switched over to a headlock as Coach pointed out that Angle could break his ankle anytime he wanted to. Flair got out of the way of a charging Angle, and the Olympic gold medalist went shoulder-first into the ringpost. Flair saw this as a green light to go after Angle’s knee to set up for the figure four. Moments later, Flair did indeed lock in the figure four. Angle got out of it, but Flair remained on the offensive. However, just as I typed that, Flair walked into a belly-to-belly suplex. Flair chopped Angle to the outside. “He’s just outside, taking a little break. Nothing to worry about.” – Coach. Angle came back into the ring with a chair, but Flair beat him to the punch. Angle, however, then used his Olympic gold medal to knock Flair cold and get the pinfall victory.
Angle got on the microphone after the match and complained about having to listen to the fans chanting “You Suck” at him. He said that next week Raw would originate from Afghanistan and serve as a special tribute to the troops. He said that since this was a voluntary thing for the wrestlers, he was happy to say he did not volunteer. He wondered why he would fly 30 hours in a plane to compete for a bunch of troops that represent a country that doesn’t respect him. He talked about winning a gold medal for his country. He wondered what the troops had done for the country, and surmised that it was nothing. He said he might be willing to sign a few autographs when they capture Osama, but until then, no dice. He then cut to Daivari backstage, who was standing next to life sized statues of hockey player Bobby Orr and basketball player Larry Bird, local sports legends. Angle ordered for Daivari to desecrate the statues like the fans did to him. Daivari then spit on Bird. He then (and the best part of this was his big toothy grin at this point, as he was talking) grabbed a spray paint can to take care of the statues further. However, when he turned around, he turned right into Cena. He ran off. Cena yelled at Angle, saying those actions were bush league. “You’re better than that! Actually, no you’re not.” – Cena. Cena then shifted to serious mode, saying that Angle was heartless for not respecting the troops. He said the people say Angle sucks, half the people think he sucks, but it’s all good, because the people have the right to say whatever they want. He said that without the troops, there would be no America. And without America, there would be no American heroes. Note also that Angle cannot see him.
Backstage, Edge and Lita came up to a loss-grieving Flair. Edge wondered if Flair had just lost another tough match. He asked if Flair was going to postal on the turnpike and beat someone else up. Lita said that might be the only fight Flair could win these days. Flair told them not to press their luck. Edge is good in small doses like this. It’s interesting to me that they’re playing up Flair’s real life problems like this.
Elsewhere backstage, Shelton Benjamin was yelling at Shawn Michaels. Benjamin said he displayed enough attitude for everyone last week, but it was Michaels who didn’t come through when the chips were down. Michaels said he had everything ready to finish things off and win the match, but it was Benjamin that messed things up. Benjamin accused Michaels of being selfish and wanting all the glory. He said he had a qualifying match against Carlito later in the show, and after he beat him, he hoped to God that Michaels would be in the Chamber as well, presumably so he could get his hands on him, because he doesn’t particularly care for him.
They aired a video clip centered around Cena, highlighting his recent promotional tour (for his CD, you see) of Italy. They’re playing it like hell over there, according to Cena.
(2) Carlito defeated Shelton Benjamin. Benjamin jumped Carlito as he entered the ring, and before he could take off that beautiful, beautiful shirt of his. Benjamin punched away at Carlito in the corner, and then kicked at him when he was down. Carlito went out to the outside, but Benjamin followed him out there and showed no mercy. Back in the ring, Benjamin grounded Carlito again and continued going to work on him. Again back outside, Benjamin clotheslined Carlito down. Carlito reversed things and whipped Benjamin back-first into the side of the ring. In the ring, Carlito hit an innovative backbreaker. Carlito then dropped some elbows on Benjamin’s back and got a two count. Carlito then hit a regular old backbreaker for a two count. Moments later, Carlito locked in a Boston crab in Boston (!), but Benjamin rolled through and got a quick surprise two count. Benjamin hit a wacky neckbreaker of his own and got a two count. Benjamin attempted a sunset flip, which Carlito momentarily thwarted by grabbing hold of the referee. Carlito went for a suplex, Benjamin countered out of it, and then moments later Benjamin was able to hit the exploder (t-bone suplex). He took 832 years to decide that he wanted to go out and get Carlito’s apple. He took a bite of it, but during the 10 generations it took him to do this, Carlito was able to recover enough to roll him up for the pinfall victory. Benjamin threw a mini tantrum in the ring.
Backstage, Vince McMahon ran into my hero and yours, Trevor Murdoch. This is truly a red-letter day. Murdoch thought he would be a dandy General Manager, and I’d be hard pressed to disagree. “I’ve got all kinds of ideas!” – Murdoch. McMahon told him that chewing tobacco was a disgusting habit and then told him he’d think about it. Behind his back, though, he called Murdoch an idiot. McMahon finally made his way to his office, where Candice Michelle was waiting for him. She heard there was a position open on Raw. McMahon was willing to talk about multiple positions, but she meant General Manager. She showed some cleavage, rubbed up on him and spun around like she does in that Godaddy.com commercial I’ve never seen. McMahon said he would be willing to take this into consideration, but all the sudden, Angle and Daivari came in to ruin the fun.
(3) Shawn Michaels defeated Big Show by disqualification. Show caught Michaels to start the match and whipped him into the turnbuckles. Michaels turned tide and punched away on Show in the corner. Show kept thwarting Michaels’ momentum by using his power and size advantage. Michaels hit a dive onto Show on the outside, but Show caught him and dropped him face-first onto the ring apron. Back in the ring, Show headbutted Michaels down. He chopped at Michaels in the corner and then stood on him while he was down. Michaels ran into a big boot by Show. Show went to drop an elbow, but Michaels managed to get out of the way. Show locked in a bearhug. Show caught Michaels diving at him and tossed him into the turnbuckles. Michaels, moments later, hit some clotheslines on Show, but Show caught the third attempt by grabbing onto the throat for a chokeslam. Michaels countered by hitting a DDT out of nowhere. Michaels went up top and hit an elbow and then started warming up the band. He nailed Show with the sweet chin music, but it took Show forever to fall to one knee. Show hit a desperation chokeslam out of nowhere and they were both down. All the sudden, Triple H came out of nowhere and pulled Michaels out of the ring. He nailed Michaels with a chair, thus “interfering on behalf of Big Show,” and therefore causing the DQ.
They then cut to backstage, where Angle was angry and yelling at Vince. He said he wanted a match against Cena and wanted to humiliate him in front of his hometown fans. McMahon wondered who the hell Angle was to barge in on him and yell at him like that. He said Cena would wrestle tonight, but it wouldn’t be against Angle. It would be against Daivari in a “you can’t see me” match. What that meant was, Cena would be blindfolded during the match, and thus wouldn’t be able to see Daivari. Huh? Huh?! He then got in Angle’s face and said that he had the freedom to knock the troops, but he should never interrupt him again. I’ve got a question here. During the last chunk of action before the commercial break, the last thing we saw was Angle and Daivari barging in on McMahon. So then we come back from break and there’s about a six minute match. And then we go back to Angle and McMahon. My question is this: Did that meeting happen during the match, and they just decided to show it afterward for episodic televisional reasons? Or did they actually just sit there, perhaps watching the match, and then get back into character to do the segment? Just wondering.
IRS: And welcome everyone to the half time report! In an effort to provide entertaining episodic television, they have decided to drag out the naming of a new General Manager in order to air skits where McMahon screens candidates.
Adam Bomb: I’ll bet you anything they don’t even know who they want to be the General Manager yet. They’re just buying time until they pull the right name out of the hat. Giant Gonzalez: I was going to say something here, but after hearing you say that, I have to agree with you completely. This marks the first time in recorded history that we have actually agreed on something. Adam Bomb: No. No it doesn’t. We agree on something every week. Giant Gonzalez: I’ve grown tired of your words, Adam.
IRS: This job never gets old. In any event, Mountie, how do you feel about the way the show has progressed thus far? Mountie: Well, I think it’s a really good idea to have qualifying matches for the Elimination Chamber. Also, kudos to them for making the matches competitive, and not tossing out Triple H vs. Doink or something ridiculous like that. Pretty good show. IRS: Let’s get back to the show for more action!
(4) Chris Masters defeated Viscera. “Man, this is gonna be a great match.” – Jerry Lawler. Viscera started things off by tossing Chris “Master” Piece down, to establish his size advantage. He slammed him down and dropped a huge elbow on him. Masters caught Viscera with his head down, but he went for a slam and Viscera was too big for that. Viscera crashed down on him for a two count. Masters went for the masterlock, but he couldn’t get his hands around to lock it in. Masters went to the eyes and went for another masterlock, but again couldn’t quite do it. Viscera used his massive size to crash into Masters in the corner. He hit a sideslam on Masters and then a Samoan drop. Masters hit a drop toehold which sent Viscera crashing into the second turnbuckle. He finally did lock in the masterlock and Viscera finally gave it up.
They aired the weakly Smackdown Rebound, which was centered around the Randy Orton vs. Undertaker feud. The announcers then hyped up Triple H vs. Kane and John Cena vs. Daivari for later in the show.
They then cut to footage from WWE Unlimited, aired “moments ago.” It was a meeting between Trish Stratus and Mickie James. James said it was a real honor to be with Stratus such as they were. She wondered if Stratus was sleeping with McMahon at one point. James really played up the creepy stalker thing here. She said she had a match against Victoria coming up later in the show, and if she won, she’d be facing her hero Trish at the next PPV. Trish wished her the best of luck and they shared a high five.
We then cut to the ringside area, where Matt Striker was explaining who he was to the educationally impaired. You see, he’s a teacher. And not just any teacher, but your teacher. I liked this gimmick better when Dean Douglas and Chris Taylor were doing it. In any event, he had “Family Values” written on the board. He insulted some people in the crowd, and said the more children mom spits out, the more money the government spits out to her. He said he was tired of paying for mothers who can’t keep their legs closed. He said that the fathers were out marrying other men in Massachusetts. He said same-sex unions were ruining our great country, but it wasn’t the people’s fault they were out there smoking the pot and getting tattooed up, because they didn’t know any better. That’s where he comes in, according to him. He said they should look to him as a father figure, because he’s Matt Striker and he’s going to be our teacher. “He makes a lot of great points.” – Coach. “What?!” – Joey Styles.
We then cut to backstage, where Chris Nowinski was touting his Harvard education and saying that he was just the man for the GM job. McMahon brushed him off and out of nowhere came Dusty Rhodes, the American Dream/person I was named after. Rhodes and Vince shared a moment and Vince wondered aloud if this was going to be the next General Manager. We can only hope.
(5) Mickie James defeated Victoria. Trish joined in on commentary for the match. Victoria started things out by hammering away on James. She got a two count on James as the announcers talked to Trish about her unique relationship with James. Victoria slammed her down, stood on top of her in an arrogant bit of pinning, but then moments later, James fired back with some high energy of her own. James hit some lefts and rights and kicked away at Victoria in the corner. James hit a flying forearm for a two count. James hit a back elbow, but Victoria cut short a huracanrana attempt and turned it into a Boston crab. James got the ropes. James hit a big time DDT for the three count.
Backstage, they showed Triple H walking to the ring for his upcoming match.
(6) Kane defeated Triple H. Kane caught Triple H charging at him to start the match. He punched away at Hunter in the corner, but Hunter tried to turn the tide. Kane would have none of this and maintained control of the match. Hunter did one of his patented Hunter Flops (wait a minute). Kane held Triple H up in a choke and then just drove him down to the canvas. Hunter hit a knee and then pounded away on Kane in the corner. Kane whipped Triple H towards the turnbuckles, and Hunter flipped over the top rope and landed on the arena floor. They then cut to break.
We came back from break with Triple H getting a two count. Hunter locked in a sleeper, but Kane got out of it with a sideslam. Kane sat up and got the better end of an exchange of punches. He whipped Triple H into the corner and followed through with a clothesline. He then did the same in the opposite corner. He nailed Hunter with a powerslam and then made like he was going to go up top. Hunter sensed this and rolled to the outside. There, Kane rammed him into the barricade. Back in the ring, Kane finally went up top. He hit a big time clothesline off the top. Kane called for the chokeslam, but Hunter again went to escape the ring. Kane tossed him back into the ring from the apron. Hunter caught Kane putting his head down and rammed him face-first into his knee. Kane battled back, but soon thereafter accidentally hit the referee with a big boot. Kane again called for the chokeslam, but Hunter went low and hit a DDT. Hunter went outside and grabbed the sledgehammer from underneath the ring. Big Show came out to even the odds. Hunter dared him to come to him, what with the sledgehammer in his hand and all. This distraction allowed for Kane to come up from behind and grab Hunter in the chokeslam position. Show entered the ring and joined in the fun for a double chokeslam. The referee made the slow three count in Kane’s favor.
Therefore, the Elimination Chamber match at the New Year’s Revolution PPV would be John Cena vs. Kane vs. Carlito vs. Chris Masters vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle.
(7) John Cena defeated Daivari. The match didn’t start until after the hour, so you knew it wasn’t going very long. They made much ado about putting the blindfold on Cena. The match was constructed very well, with Cena playing up that he wasn’t able to see, so he spent much of the time fishing around for Daivari. Several times, Daivari gave hints of where he was, so Cena would go in that general direction, and Daivari would then craftily get out of the way. Daivari hit and run, taking his shots and getting out of the way. Cena finally hit a lucky left hand to drop Daivari, but since Cena couldn’t see anything, he ended up grabbing at the referee instead of Daivari. Cena played Jake Roberts from WrestleMania 7, pointing at Daivari and trusting the crowd to yell “yes” or “no” as to whether he was pointing in the right direction. Angle got up on the ring apron and took a cheap shot on Cena which allowed for Daivari to go to work on him. Cena finally managed to grab Daivari’s boot, take him down and hammer away on him. He grabbed Daivari by the pant and hit a takedown. Cena then made Daivari tap out quickly to the “STF-U.” Angle hit the ring immediately afterward, but Cena de-blindfolded and ran Angle out of the ring as well. Cena hit an F-U on Daivari and celebrated his win.
IRS: Well, it looks like another Raw is in the books, and we’ve got the Elimination Chamber match for the next PPV set in stone! Your thoughts?
Giant Gonzalez: I’d like to take this opportunity to point and laugh at Dusty for completely overrating last week’s show. In turn, I will do the same myself for this week’s show. 10 out of 10, and the best show I’ve ever seen! Adam Bomb: Well, now I know you’ve completely lost the plot. In any event, I thought this was a pretty solid show tonight. Not perfect, by any means, but worthy of about a 7.0 out of 10.
Mountie: I was actually pretty down on this show. None of the matches were good, and they didn’t name a General Manager. It showed me that Vince was indecisive about the whole thing and left a bad taste in my mouth, much like eating Cheetos while drinking water. I’ll give it a 5.5 out of 10. IRS: I thank you all for your comments. Upon much reflection, I would have to say Adam Bomb pretty much nailed it. 7.0 out of 10 and I can’t wait for next week!
Final Show Grade: 6.5. You have to give them credit for making five qualifying matches for the Elimination Chamber PPV main event. It makes it seem like everyone wants the spot, but only the best of the best can get in after facing some stiff competition to get there. Viscera might not be seen as a legitimate main event contender, but it was believable enough because he represented the biggest challenge to date for Masters to apply his masterlock to. The storyline with Show and Hunter each costing the other a spot in the match was handled quite well, and coupling that with the Flair vs. Edge storyline, and you officially already know more matches for the PPV than you sometimes do for these things, when booking slips into desperation autopilot.
I thought this week represented a slip in the way they have been handling Shelton Benjamin. He looked stupid for taking so long to make his mind to grab the apple late in the match, especially considering he was on 12 different kinds of fire to start the match. Normally it’s the babyface who is the dumb one, but it looks like they’re turning Benjamin heel after the losing streak. The Mickie James storyline continues to be among the most intriguing things WWE is doing right now. Each week she gets a little bit more into the “I hate you!” part of the love/hate obsessive relationship. Overall, I thought the show presented a nice combination of backstage skits and in-ring action. Seven matches is among the most for a Raw in a long time, maybe all year. Cena gave a solid interview, but it might be time to turn him heel and let the fans boo him.
On a side note, I hope they name a permanent replacement General Manager, because while the storyline held some intrigue this week, it’s not the kind of thing that’s going to hold the audience’s attention for multiple weeks. The GM spot is an important position, but people are going to eventually just want someone to be named to the spot and move on. It’s not the kind of thing that has staying power till the next PPV, I don’t think.
Dusty Giebink would find it rather funny if he again gave Raw the highest score of all the Torch staff. He welcomes any questions, answers, comments or concerns you may have, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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