THE SPECIALISTS Raw Storylines and Feuds - The Slammy Awards edition
Dec 9, 2008 - 5:48:10 PM
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY
By Chris Newth, PWTorch contributor
WWE Monday Night Raw December 8, 2008 Upcoming PPV: Armageddon (last episode before PPV)
RAW STORYLINES AND FEUDS
Welcome to the sixty-sixth edition of Raw Storylines and Feuds.
For those wondering about the Intrigue Level system that I employ, you can refer to the numbers as follows:
10 (excellent), 9 (great), 8-6 (very good, good, pretty good), 5 (decent; has its good and bad qualities), 4-3 (needs work, poor), 2 (bad), 1 (terrible)
The winners of the Slammy Awards have little bearing on WWE storylines, but here's a list of the 2008 Slammy Award winners:
2008 Tag Team of the Year: Miz and Morrison
2008 Best Finishing Maneuver: Evan Bourne's Shooting Star Press
2008 Extreme Moment of the Year: Jeff Hardy's plunge off the Raw scaffolding
2008 Couple of the Year: Edge & Vickie Guerrero
2008 Diva of the Year: Beth Phoenix
2008 "Oh My God" Moment of the Year: Punk winning the World Hvt. Title after cashing in MITB
2008 Match of the Year: Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair at WrestleMania 24
2008 "Damn!" Moment of the Year: Great Khali's Kiss Cam
2008 Superstar of the Year: Chris Jericho
World Hvt. Champion JOHN CENA vs. CHRIS JERICHO (4 weeks)
Summary Quick Shots:
-John Cena told Todd Grisham that it was ridiculous that Jericho banned his kid from watching Raw. He also said that he was going to fight Jericho later in the show so that he could show him what the definition of "respect" truly is.
-Chris Jericho defeated Jeff Hardy after hitting the Code Breaker for the 1-2-3.
-Jericho won the Slammy for Superstar of the Year, so he proceeded to cut his usual promo where he disparaged WWE fans. John Cena then hit the scene, prompting Jericho to bolt into the crowd.
-In Raw's main event, John Cena fought Edge in a Champion vs. Champion Match. The bout ended when Jericho came to ringside. Cena jumped out of the ring to fight Jericho, which ended the match as a DQ. Once Jericho and Cena fought through the crowd, Edge found himself dealing with both Triple H and Jeff Hardy to close the show.
It's interesting that Cena's promo early in the show didn't ultimately amount to much. He promised a fight with Jericho, but the focus of the show at its conclusion was instead directed toward Edge, Triple H, and Jeff Hardy. Cena and Jericho faded away as they brawled into the crowd and out of sight. As for the Slammy, it was smart to let Jericho have it. That's one more thing he can brag about; plus, he's very likely to lose to Cena at Armageddon this Sunday. With Cena holding the World Heavyweight Title and running on a serious winning streak, WWE gave Jericho another reason to inflate his ego moving forward. On a promotional level, this week accomplished what it needed to. John Cena's threat to beat Jericho and teach him some respect basically served as a teaser. You want to see Cena actually do it? Order Armageddon on PPV this weekend. It was a shrewd move by WWE.
Intrigue Level (out of 10): 9 [up 0.5 since last week]
Chris Jericho: Randy Orton, JBL, Jeff Hardy, Money in the Bank, Shawn Michaels
John Cena: Edge, Umaga, Bobby Lashley, Orton & Triple H, JBL, Triple H, JBL, Batista
RANDY ORTON vs. BATISTA (5 weeks)
Summary Quick Shots:
-Annoyed because he didn't get a Slammy nomination, Randy Orton publicly challenged Batista and Triple H to a Two-on-Three Handicap Match where Orton would team with Cody Rhodes and Manu.
-Team Orton won their Handicap Match against Triple H and Batista when Orton caught The Animal with the RKO for the victory.
Orton had a valid reason to complain about not getting a Slammy nod for Superstar of the Year. Anyone who held the World Heavyweight Title or WWE Title probably should be in the running for that. His relationship with Cody Rhodes and Manu seems to be stable at this point, although who knows what will happen when Ted DiBiase returns and what that will do to alliances. The Handicap Match helped Orton gain some nice momentum heading into the PPV this Sunday against Batista. The fact that Orton is not fighting with Cody Rhodes and Manu at the moment makes a discernible difference in terms of the focus on the Orton-Batista rivalry. This is likely an example of a feud that will extend beyond the PPV because the issues between Orton and Batista have not been fully fleshed out yet. And it will probably be even stronger after they've had a PPV match in the books.
Intrigue Level (out of 10): 8 [up 1 since last week]
Randy Orton: John Cena, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Jeff Hardy, Cena & Triple H, Triple H
Batista: Great Khali, Undertaker, MVP, Umaga, Shawn Michaels, Edge, CM Punk, John Cena
SHAWN MICHAELS vs. JBL (7 weeks)
Summary Quick Shots:
-As Shawn Michaels was giving his acceptance speech for winning the Slammy for best match of the year, JBL walked to the stage, grabbed the award, claimed it for himself, and walked off. Michaels watched and did nothing.
I'm still not sure about the way this feud has shifted. If I were to write it as it stood, I would have at least showed Michaels hitting something angrily or knocking something over to show his sheer frustration with the predicament in which he currently finds himself. But, let's look at this as an even bigger picture. How many people are going to buy this story? It's just simply farfetched to think that a longtime WWE superstar and one of Raw's top performers would be suffering so much that he'd need JBL's assistance. This might work with someone who is a newcomer, but it's probably too unrealistic for Michaels to play this role. It's a bad fit, as if they had a good idea for a storyline but wanted to shove characters that don't belong into it. The premise can't explain why other guys on the roster are doing fine (and not flocking to JBL for financial assistance).
Intrigue Level (out of 10): 6 [down 1 since last week]
Shawn Michaels: Randy Orton, Mr. Kennedy, Ric Flair, Batista & Jericho
JBL: Chris Jericho, Finlay, Triple H & Orton, John Cena, CM Punk
Intercontinental Champion WILLIAM REGAL vs. CM PUNK (3 weeks w/ 1 week hiatus)
Summary Quick Shots:
-William Regal and Layla watched from the back as CM Punk defeated John Morrison to advance in the Intercontinental Title Tournament. Punk hit the Go 2 Sleep on Morrison to pick up the win.
-Rey Mysterio beat Kofi Kingston to advance in the tournament. Mysterio will now face CM Punk to determine the number one contender for the Intercontinental Title.
Decent progression in this wrestling-based rivalry that will culminate after Armageddon when the number one contender is decided. Nothing particularly important to dissect this week, but we are getting closer to the very likely Regal-Punk feud with the IC Title on the line.
Intrigue Level (out of 10): 7.5 [up 0.5 since last week]
William Regal: Mr. Kennedy, Jamie Noble, Santino Marella
CM Punk: Elijah Burke, John Morrison, Chavo Guerrero, Morrison & Miz, Batista, JBL
WWE Women's Champion BETH PHOENIX (w/ Santino Marella) vs. MELINA (3 weeks)
Summary Quick Shots:
-Melina and Teddy Long introduced the nominees for Best Diva of the Year, which Beth Phoenix ultimately won. The Glamazon accepted the award and then pushed Melina on the stage, which prompted an imminent fight. Melina then flung Phoenix backward into Santino's crotch.
Decent progression in this divas' feud, but it certainly didn't solve anything. It looks like Santino Marella will play a bigger role than usual in Beth's feuds this time around. This particular rivalry is still early in the making, but it has a lot of potential as WWE banks on the momentum Melina has garnered with her return from injury. I'm also wondering if they will continue with the female stalker fan. Did anyone else notice that the fan holding the "Go Glamazon" sign in the crowd last week was the same woman that was holding a "Glamazon in Training" sign the week prior on Raw? It was a pretty subtle touch (especially the second time), but WWE put just enough focus on it to suggest that it might be an upcoming storyline.
Intrigue Level (out of 10): 7 [same since last week]
(1) Mr. Kennedy vs. ?
(2) Charlie Haas vs. ?
(3) Dolph Ziggler vs. ?
Thanks for reading, everyone. If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I greatly appreciate all the feedback that I receive, and I will respond to every email. Please insert a word in the subject line that deals with a wrestling topic or write something such as "WWE," "feud," or "Val Venis" so that I know it's not junk mail.
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**