TV REPORTS KELLER'S RAW REPORT 1/16: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live show
Jan 16, 2006 - 10:10:00 PM
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY
JANUARY 16, 2006
-A tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. aired, as is an annual WWE tradition (which helps them defend and rationalize the rest of their conduct throughout the year). The Raw opening then aired; the Trish-Mickie kiss has been added to the opening montage.
-Joey Styles, Coach, and Jerry Lawler introduced the show. They showed a clip of Kurt Angle winning the World Hvt. Title.
-Edge and Lita came out to mid-ring. Edge said some have accused him of scoring a cheap title win. He said he earned the Money in the Bank shot and was smart enough to use it at the right time. He then talked about the huge ratings last week, all of the web hits for his title win, and proclaimed himself the most popular champion of all time as a result. He said to those who were offended by the nudity and sexual content, tough. He bragged about what he did to Ric Flair. He concluded by saying he wanted to have Lita "finish him tonight." Lita took off his shirt. Edge sat on a chair. Lita sat on him. Then Kurt Angle's music played. He played to the crowd and got a babyface pop. They seem to have given up fighting the tide on this one, but where does that leave Daivari?
Kurt Angle said his contract with Raw expired on Jan. 1 and he was about to renegotiate his contract with Eric Bischoff (wasn't he fired?), but then he heard about Batista's injury and decided to negotiate with Teddy Long instead. Edge said on his very first try, in less than two minutes, he beat John Cena. He said he would have done the same thing to him. Angle said, "You think you can beat me? Let's unify the titles, right here tonight? Let's make history right here in Raleigh, N.C." Edge asked the crowd if they want to see that. They cheered. Edge said, "Not a chance!" Edge told Angle he is a World Champion on a second rate show. He asked him who he is to challenge him. He pointed out he was the first to be eliminated in the Elimination Chamber. Angle gave Edge a back suplex, and Edge immediately rolled to the floor.
Vince McMahon's music began playing and he walked out. Vince said they would not be wrestling each other, but they would fulfill their contractual obligations. Didn't Angle say he didn't have a Raw contract? How could be "obligated" to wrestle (not that, as a babyface at this point, he'd back down on an advertised match anyway). Vince said if Angle wouldn't defend his title, but he would wrestle Michaels as scheduled, and if he beats Michaels, Michaels's contract would be terminated immediately. He called for the match to start immediately. Michaels came to the ring and jawed with Vince McMahon for a minute before walking past him to the ring. McMahon smiled and let him by while giving him a mocking applause.
Good performances from everyone. Edge did a good job carrying himself like a star, and covered the bases he needed to regarding the way he won the title. Angle was great, too. He knows he's got the crowd behind him and seems to relish being able to milk it rather than fight it right now. We'll if it lasts.
1 -- KURT ANGLE vs. SHAWN MICHAELS
They joined the match in progress with Michaels chasing Daivari around ringside. Michaels then applied a side headlock in the ring. Angle came back and threw a series of suplexes on Michaels. Michaels reversed a suplex attempt into a DDT, but favored his back as he got up. Daivari interfered on Angle's behalf by yanking the top rope down as Michaels bounced into the ropes. Michaels fell to the floor. He got up and superkicked Daivari. As he celebrated, Angle suplexed him from behind onto the floor mat.
After several failed attempts, at 8:30 Angle gave Michaels an Angle Slam off the top rope. Angle landed hard on the back of his neck; probably not a move he should be doing with his back back and neck. Michaels kicked out. Michaels showed signs of life with some chops a minute later, then hit a flying forearm off the ropes. Michaels nipped up, but as soon as he landed on his feet, Angle went for an anklelock. Michaels escaped. After some frenzied mid-ring exchanges, both were down on the mat. Michaels got up first and went for a top rope elbow, but Angle moved. Coach said Michaels took too much time climbing to the top rope. Angle dropped his strap and maneuvered Michaels into an Anklelock. Michaels reversed it and kicked out, but Angle immediately reapplied it. Daivari leaned into the ring to taunt Michaels. Michaels reached out to slap him. Daivari brought a chair into the ring to get revenge on Michaels. The ref yanked on the chair. Angle asked Daivari what he was doing, upset that he could have gotten a tapout win from Michaels. Angle slugged Daivari. Michaels schoolboyed Angle for a three count. Daivari stomped away at Michaels afterward. Angle, though, chewed out Daivari. "What the hell were you doing in the ring? I had the damn match won," said Angle. Daivari told Angle he is World Champion because of him. Angle beat him up and tossed him over the top rope to the floor. Coach said this is how Angle would want to be remembered on Raw.
WINNER: Michaels at 12:25.
STAR RATING: *** -- Just excellent action throughout. Short, but very good TV match. With Angle's popularity, and his moving over to Smackdown, it will be interesting if he makes a difference in ratings or buyrates in coming months. It will be a loss for Raw, though.
-Todd Grisham interviewed Kurt Angle backstage. Angle said Daivari "sucks" and was fired as his manager.
-They plugged the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs main event between Edge and Flair, including playing a clip of Edge spearing Jeff Hardy off a ladder years ago. The announcers said Flair is out of his element in this style match.
-Maria interviewed Chris Masters backstage. He blamed Carlito for messing up his Elimination Chamber opportunity. Masters said he will become the youngest Royal Rumble winner ever. He said he will prove his dominance over Cena next in a Master Lock Challenge.
-Backstage, Trish Stratus chatted with Ashley about whether Mickie could be trusted. Ashley told Trish that Mickie seemed overprotective and obsessed with her. Mickie overheard it and her feelings were hurt. She admitted she's obsessed, but it's over feeling bad for what she did to Ashley last week. Ashley forgave her. Mickie then hugged both women and slapped their asses. She said it was just for luck.
-Chris Masters made his grand entrance. He did some mic work and then introduced Cena. Cena walked out to his music. Coach said he likes Mastesr's moxie. Styles said, "Did you just say moxie?" He should have added, "Who do you think you are, Nick Bockwinkel." Cena sat in a chair in mid-ring. He locked Cena in the Masterlock. The crowd chanted "Cena, Cena." Cena teased powering out. Cena lifted Masters by bending forward, then backed Masters into the corner hard. Masters held his grip. Cena continued to struggle in mid-ring, throwing his arms down to try to break the grip. It looked as if he was losing consciousness. Edge then entered the ring with the WWE Tile belt, taunting Cena. Cena screamed. Edge then nailed Cena with the belt across the forehead. Cena came up bleeding. Edge said, "I can't see you, John." Edge and Lita got luvy-duvy on the stage as a bleeding Cena regained his balance. Good segment at getting across the strength of the Masterlock, while putting Cena in a position to get cheered, and ultimately forwarding the Edge-Cena feud.
-The announcers again plugged Edge vs. Ric Flair in a TLC match.
-Vince McMahon walked into the training room and taunted Michaels, then told him he would be escorted from the arena. He then patted Flair, who was also on a trainer's table, and hyped his TLC match, telling him that despite a concussion, he was sure he'd do well in the match. Candice Michelle then walked in and asked if McMahon would critique her match and get back to her late with a review. McMahon then had her wave her magic wand and spin around. McMahon smiled and said to Flair, "I feel better already!"
2 -- TRISH STRATUS & MICKIE JAMES & ASHLEY vs. VICTORIA & TORRIE WILSON & CANDICE MICHELLE
Trish and Victoria wrestled for a couple of minutes of solid action. Then when Trish tagged out, she reached past Mickie's outstretched arm and tagged Ashley instead. Mickie couldn't believe it. She was crushed and then enraged, attacking Ashley. Torrie had to peel Mickie off of her and scold her at ringside. Meanwhile, Ashley got rolled up for the loss.
WINNERS: Victoria & Torrie & Candice at 2:47.
STAR RATING: 1/4* -- Good continuation of the Trish-Mickie dynamic.
-A vignette aired promoting the return of Rob Van Dam at the Royal Rumble.
-Carlito stood in center-ring and said he doesn't get why everyone seems so excited for the return of RVD. He introduced a clip from last June of Carlito beating up RVD after spitting an apple in his face. He said Carlito is better than ever and nobody in the locker room can throw him over the top rope. "And that's cool," he said. Kane's pyro caused Carlito to jump. Kane walked to the ring with a sense of purpose. Carlito attacked him, but soon went down with a boot to the face. Kane chokeslammed Carlito over the top rope, smiled, and walked to the back.
-A stagehand told Vince a woman was outside who wanted to see him. Vince told a stagehand that Candice had the hots for him, so keep it quiet that he let her in.
-Vince sprayed his mouth with some freshener and began to disrobe. He took off his watch. There was a knock at the door. With his back to the door, he told Candice to come on in and not say a word so he could feel her presence. Vince dropped his pants and spun around. He discovered Shelton's mamma instead. He quickly put his pants back on. Shelton Benjamin entered, too. She demanded to know why Shelton wasn't scheduled to wrestle. Shelton tried to stop her, saying, "It's okay." Vince said he could have a match. His mamma ordered him to go to the ring and not say another word. She began rubbing Vince's chest, then walked off. Vince shuddered in disgust.
-The announcers plugged Royal Rumble, including the 30-man Rumble and Cena challenging the winner of the TV main event between Flair and Edge. More clips were shown of a TLC match, from 2001.
3 -- BIG SHOW vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN (w/his mamma)
Mamma looked small next to Big Show. She told Shelton he was on his own. Shelton attacked Show at the start, but not to much effect. Show caught him and gave him a overhead fallaway slam. At 1:30, Triple H made his first appearance of the show, going after Show. Show, though, headbutted him and brawled with him toward the back. He punched Hunter and then grabbed at his broken hand in pain. Hunter fled. Mamma said, "You won!" Shelton jumped up and down and celebrated.
WINNER: Shelton via countout at 1:46.
STAR RATING: 1/4*
-A segment aired promoting Stacy Keibler on "Dancing with the Stars." Competitors praised her as being a natural and the best of the competition. Stacy showed why she's known for her legs when she said, "I couldn't be more happier."
4 -- EDGE (w/Lita) vs. RIC FLAIR -- World Hvt. Title match, TLC rules
Flair came out first, introduced as "North Carolina's own." Edge came out and looked genuinely moved that this was his first-ever televised WWE Title defense - a true dream come true for him (against the legendary Ric Flair, no less). They repeatedly showed Edge bashing Flair in the head with a chair last week. Edge took early control with a ladder. He put Flair in the middle of the ladder and then bashed the ladder with a chair. They brawled into the crowd briefly, then Edge backdropped Flair back to ringside. Edge suplexed Flair on the floor. When Edge was about to come off the announcers' table with a chair, Flair reached up and grabbed his crotch. Lita went after Flair; Flair chased Lita away. Edge then surprised Flair with a chairshot at 3:45. Edge put Flair on a table, then Lita held him in place as Edge climbed a ladder in the ring. Edge leaped off the ladder over the top rope and through Flair and the table on the floor. A "holy sh--" chant broke out. A bloody Flair screamed out in pain.
Flair took control after the break, going on a chair rampage. Flair climbed a ladder at 11:00, but Edge suplexed him over the top and to the mat. Crazy. Flair's hair was drenched in blood. They showed a replay with the overhead camp. They should offer a webcast of just that view. That would be trippy. Edge then took over control. He climbed the ladder and came off with a missile dropkick, but came up a few inches short. He took a hard bump, maybe not intended. Flair did his face-first bump. Edge got up first with chair in hand and bashed Flair. Flair rolled out of the ring. Edge climbed the ladder and touched the belt, but failed to grab it before Flair tipped over the ladder and sent Edge crashing through a table on the floor. Lita and the referee checked on Edge. Another crazy looking bump. Flair then set up the ladder and climbed as the fans in the audience cheered and in some cases jumped up and down in excitement. Flair grabbed the belt, but Lita grabbed his leg. She yanked him to the mat and punched away at him. He threatened to hit her, but instead put her in the figure-four leglock. At 15:30, with the crowd on its collective feet again, Flair climbed the ladder one more time. He milked it as he didn't have the energy to actually climb it. Edge then met him at the top of the ladder. Flair punched Edge. Edge punched Flair back, knocking Flair to the mat. Edge then climbed to the top and grabbed the belt for the win.
WINNER: Edge at 16:38.
STAR RATING: **** -- Best match of the past week. Obscene in some ways, because Flair shouldn't be taking these bumps and chairshots at his age with his body as broken down as it is. However, it would be unfair not to give it credit for being a tremendously executed spectacle of a match. Edge is a better choice for lead heel of Raw than Triple H at this point. He's more entertaining in the ring and behind the mic, and he's at a stage where fans will buy him at that level.
-After the match, Edge was going to nail the exhausted, beaten Flair with a chair from behind, but Cena made the save. He cleared the ring quickly of Edge and Lita. Cena stood over Flair and shouted at Edge and Lita as the show ended.
FINAL WORDS: Entertaining show. I'll be posting our Raw Polls in a few minutes. VIP members, be on the look out for the Raw Roundtable Reviews featuring reviews from the Torch staff. Plus, within the next hour or so, I will post my weekly Raw Audio Analysis exclusively for Torch VIP members, available in both Flash Streaming (great for dial-up users) and MP3 downloadable format (great for those with high-speed connections and a desire to listen on an MP3 player, such as an iPod).
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.
THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
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.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
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)
REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**