SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The following is PWTorch.com reader reaction to the Oct. 16, 2006 episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, ten years ago this week…
Becky Graham (7.5): Not a bad show tonight, but I really could’ve done without all the “celebrities.” I was hoping Umaga would’ve stiffed Steve O more than what he did. What an embarrassment that was. He really is a “jackass. ” Orton and Edge as DX was more entertaining than anything the originals have done yet. Hopefully Orton wasn’t legit injured as I think this program has legs (as long as Triple H’s ego won’t get in the road; I know, wishful thinking). And the heels better get “even” next week or they might as well kill the program right there. Triple H shoulda jobbed tonight. But God forbid he does that. And enough of “The Marine” crap. Cena and the movie both suck. And did anyone notice in the new opening that last week they had Kane in it and this week they replaced him with who else but Vince! Of course.
Kyle Hodgdon of Boothbay, Maine (7.0): Best: IC Championship Match. Worst: Women’s Match. This was a pretty solid episode of Raw segment-wise. However, the matches were not too hot. The debut of Cryme Tyme was definitely hilarious and not too bad with the match itself. I can’t wait to see more of JTG & Shad. The IC match was terrific and Benjamin’s athleticism continues to amaze. As far as the other matches on the card, they all left something to be desired. Carlito vs. Conway was a waste of time. The women’s match was just foolish and sould not have been the “bra and panties” match that it was. The main event had far too many shenanigans at the end to make for a decent match. The only segment that I didn’t really care for was Edge and Orton mimicing DX. It was just poorly done and Orton did an awful job of acting like HBK. Everything else was nicely done, though, and kept me entertained for the night.
Dave Malone of Fayetteville, Ga.: Mind boggling. Let’s show how desperate we are to pop a rating by bringing in a bunch of semi-celebrities to get there butts handed to them for no real reason. Don’t get me wrong, I doubt there were too many people sad to see K-Fed get planted, but the Jackass bit does nothing but hurt Umaga in my eyes for this reason: Steve-O didn’t sell like he got destroyed, he’s laughing, and then as Umaga goes back up the ramp, you can see Pontius get up and hop out of the ring. I think the Umaga gimmick is dumb, but if WWE is gonna stick with it, why do this to him? I mean, when the ladies bra & panties match comes off as better and more believable than an Umaga squash, that’s not good. I’m not even gonna talk about DX, I’m tired of it. All in all, it just seemed like tonight was a little bit of wrestling with a lot of celebrity pandering. Blah.
Eric Gall of Bridgeport, Conn. (0.5): Best Match: Bears’ amazing comeback win! Worst Match: Triple H. Another Monday, another version of “The Triple H Show.” People wondered why ECW was on the SciFi Channel, but maybe the real question is “Why isn’t Raw on the Home Shopping Network?” More merchandise crap and more movie promotion – wow, sports entertainment is so much better than rasslin’! I don’t get Cryme Time – at least Public Enemy and the Gangstas were heels first with the criminal gimmick. What’s with these one-minutes matches? It’s not like Carlito is a monster heel destroying someone. Wasting Conway like this is pointless. Vince got what was coming to him with Steve O. If you’re more concerned with mainstream tie-ins than actual wrestling, don’t cry when some “celebrity” doesn’t sell for your monster. I thought Steve O’s no-sells were hilarious. Way to piss away any chance the Women’s Title had for credibility by having a Bra and Panties Match in the tourney in yet another one-minute match. What did I do that was so wrong to deserve a Raw like this?
Terrie Neilson of Las Vegas, Nev. (7.0): Best: IC Four-Way Worst: Anything involving Nitro (save Cena’s rap-trash of K-Fed). This was a Raw that was all over the place. Props to WWE to do what TNA should have done – have nothing respectful to do with the Jackass movies. The Jackass guys took bumps for Umaga (good way to get a squash in when there really is no one left in the roster to beat up), but at least there was no direct tie-ins. I was thinking along the lines of a title defense in terms of Cyber Sunday, but I still think this match should be just a three-way elimination match at Survivor Series. I voted for Big Show’s title to be up for grabs since watching him just walk to the ring was painful; he looks like he’s breaking down, and that’s definitely not good. Like Jimmy Wang Yang on Smackdown, can’t stand the gimmick, but Cryme Tyme is fine in the ring. As for DX-Orton/Edge, I went for Coachman to avoid the restart of DX-McMahon feud, and Bischoff is only there to panhandle his book, which I’ve got a good enough taste of already to know his controversy isn’t getting my cash. Bischoff is still angry and bitter, that’s all there is to it. DX’s opening segment with Orton and Edge was awesome; props to Edge and Orton for the cool mockery of Shawn and Triple H. They both need a few tips on the crotch chop, though. There’s just a certain finesse about the taunt they didn’t quite convey. When I saw it I could tell that Randy looked like he landed wrong and legit hurt his knee when Triple H tossed him over the top rope. I hope it isn’t serious if it is legit this early in the feud. Match of the night was the IC Four-Way, but how can you keep pace with this every week? Masters again is the jobber, but he got in some offense, which leads me to believe his probation may be ending soon. And Kenny breaks from the Spirit Squad; you knew this was coming eventually, but nice to see it finally happen. Maybe these guys can lose the gimmicks and the belts and find their own way. One can only hope.
J.C.: Wow. All these people complaining about how WWE brought in these “celebrities” to amp up the show, I hope you realize that K-Fed, no matter how big of a piece of trash he is, is actually a celeb, and the fact that everyone hates him is the reason they had Cena FU him. Steve-O and Pontius, they’re essentially stuntmen doing the recockulous stuff they do, but at the end of the day, I don’t care if its kayfabe or not, the stuff they do on Jackass is a lot tougher than what wrestlers do. Yeah, they made WWE look stupid, but what do you expect from someone like Steve-O? Overall, the show had some good matches, namely the IC title match, so why can’t you dwell on that as opposed to the celebs?
Steve McPhail of Oklahoma City, Okla. (7.5): Best Match: IC Four-Way. Worst Match: Carlito vs. Rob Conway. First of all, what was the point of the Carlito match? I thought we might see the set-up of a new program, perhaps with Mr. Kennedy, but instead we get hints of a Carlito heel turn for an already weak face roster. The IC match was a lot of fun, and I’m really starting to think the weight loss is going to serve to make Chris Masters far better in the ring. Edge and Orton’s impression at the beginning of the show was pretty amusing, but it ruins their credibility a bit when they’re going after rehashing the past, and trot out the old impersonation bit again. Cryme Tyme really bring a lot of energy with them and held their own during the backstage skit. I loved seeing Booker break character. I only wish it had led to the end of the accent, rather than a really bad racial joke. And I for one would love to see Eric Bischoff in an on-air role again. He’s really done a great job with the tease segments for his book and could be a great mouthpiece for any number of guys on the roster. All in all, a fun show, but it hasn’t felt “major” in quite some time.
Jason Stevens of Edgewood, Maryland (8.0): Say what you will about the semi celebrities, but at least this Raw didn’t drag as much or seem as uneventful as some have recently. Cryme Tyme is great (sorry Bruce and Wade, some people DO act that way; it’s not necessarily a stereotype and some of my black friends who watch Raw agree with me) and they are if nothing else a fresh act with an edge most characters lack these days. As sad as it is to hear that the NWO rumors were squashed, the positive of pushing current talent in Edge and Orton over rehashing old angles should be the better way to go in the long term. Cena continues to shine in each appearance as he continues to be the closest Rock or Austin in a post Attitude era. Overall good Raw. I hope they keep it up!
Chris Rivers of Nashville, Tenn. (4.0) Best Match: IC Title Fatal Four-Way. Worst Match: Bra and Panties. This show tanked thanks to two segments. The first segment that blew this addition of Raw opened the second hour of the show. Kevin Federline? Oh, excuse me, I mean Mr. Britney Spears. All Mr. Spears served to do was make Nitro and Melina look like complete idiots for thinking he is an “A-List” celeb. The second segment that was troublesome was the Umaga-Steve-O/Chris segment. This was supposed to be Umaga’s chance to squash two semi-celebs and get heel heat because they aren’t “superstars.” Instead, after a monster splash from the top rope, Steve-O is laughing and mockingly begging off from Umaga. Too bad it wasn’t Taker in the ring or any number of veterans who could have tagged Steve-O for real and forced him to sell. Now, on to the positive points of the show. The IC Title fatal four-way was the highlight match of the night. The divas took a backseat tonight, which is good occasionally. DX’s classic humor was at the old school level of entertaining. Too bad it was Edge and Orton providing that old school DX humor. Cryme Tyme’s debut was solid with a great crowd reaction. Finally getting to see them in the ring was good and they could be a top tier tag team, until they’re broken up in eight weeks. This show would have scored higher if not for the semi-celeb segments. It just felt like they were rushing the show so they could head to Tokyo.
Steve A. of Bristol Conn. (8.5): Best Match: IC Fatal Four-Way. Worst: Umaga vs. Steve O.. Umaga should have hit him much harder, made it more legit. Shelton Benjamin and Super Crazy are awesome to watch. That match was PPV worthy. Maria is so dam sexy. The DX-Orton/Edge feud could be a huge success. Cryme Tyme was hilarious, but that gimmick will get old quickly. I wish they’d push the tag division. And last but not least, it’s about time the Spirit Squad started falling apart.
Leonard Tripodi of Kenilworth, N.J. (3.5): Best: IC four-way. Worst: Everything else. This was a horribly booked show. I was going to give the opening segment best of night, but after witnessing the main event, Edge and Orton are nearly finished before they even got serious heat against DX. One writer was correct in saying how they were using all of these “celebrities.” While none of them added anything to the show, these low budget stars actually took valuable time away from others who desperately need it. Adding to that, WWE had to get the bottom of the barrel, especially Federline, who got legit heat for even being out there. I guess DX are going to continue squashing everyone in their path, until one of them decides to take time off. The IC four-way was easily match of the night, and a close second goes to the debut of Cryme Tyme, which isn’t saying much. Let’s hope they have Cryme Tyme capture the tag titles, and then get a feud going with Cade & Murdoch. Kenny should to move on to ECW or Smackdown, because he will fare better on either show. I agree with Caldwell; that bra and panties match was bland, and it looked like the Divas were confused what to do afterwards. Maria is hot, but she probably belongs on ECW working something with Punk or Kelly. Cena was useless once again. Since his movie bombed (no. 6 at the box office is terrible, considering all the hype put into it) so maybe Vince decided to knock him down the ladder a bit by putting DX over again while he was stuck with Nitro/Melina. Let’s see where he stands after Cyber Sunday, which is a definite throwaway as far as I’m concerned. Speaking of which, this edition of Raw was a throwaway, too!
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS FLASHBACK ARTICLE: 10 YRS AGO: Full results of WWE Raw & Smackdown Supershow dual TV taping with Bra & Panties match, Batista vs. Booker T, Triple H, Edge, Cena, Vince, Rey