The LIVE RAW report.
Hey y’all, Mark B. here, commenting on RAW, as I had the chance to attend it live, right here, in TRENTON NJ!
Funny, that always works when Foley does it. Ah well.
In case you’re wondering why it took so long to get this up… I are dumb. No, that’s the best explanation you get. Sorry.
Okay, before the show got underway, some backstage hands ran down to the ringside area and tossed a small trampoline underneath the ring. I spent the next two hours wondering what the payoff for this was going to be. Otherwise, nothing of note.
The show starts with a WM21 video package; Cena pops up during this and draws boos from some of the fans. Alrightie then.
ONTO THE HEAT MATCHES!
HEAT MATCH #1: Gene Snitsky vs. Some jobber (I believe they announced him as Mike Mayo, though I am informed it may have been Nick Burke.).
Jobber match. Snitsky gets no notable reaction, Mike (Nick?) gets a good pop for being from Trenton. I guess if you gotta be proud of something… uh, it shouldn’t be that. Anyway, Snitsky kills dude dead after the token jobber offense with a lariat. (He may have hit the Coat Hanger, I couldn’t see so good).
HEAT MATCH #2: Eugene vs. Rob Conway.
Eugene drew a reasonable pop, with some smattered boos throughout. Conway gets nothing, even though he too is announced as being from Jersey. The match itself was as would be expected; Conway hitting his general heel offense, Eugene doing his 80’s wrestling shtick. Cute bit saw Eugene hide under the ring, and Conway, thinking himself smart, goes to the other side to wait Eugene out. So Eugene comes out on the same side he went in under, sneaks up on Conway, and rolls him up for 2. Finish sees Eugene go for the Special People’s Elbow, Conway pop up and go for his finisher, and Eugene reverse into a backslide for the pin.
Conway gets a wonderful “You suck” chant as he leaves. I’m sure that makes him feel grand, really.
HEAT MATCH #3: Chavo Guerrero vs. Lance Cade.
Cade gets a small heel pop, Chavo gets the Eddy chant. This occurs a sum total of four times throughout the match. Says my friend who attended (Hi Sue!), “Why are they chanting Eddy at Chavo?” Says I, “Because the way the fans show support for Chavo is to chant for his uncle.”
Seriously people, I love Eddy too, but chant for Chavo. He’s a damn good wrestler too.
Anyway, match was good when Chavo was on offense, not so good when Lance took over. The only thing I really got out of it was Lance blocking the 3 Amigos, otherwise it was a standard Chavo match. Finish comes when Chavo hits the Frog Splash.
WINNER: Chavo Guerrero.
HEAT MATCH 4:
BUT FIRST! A WWE 24/7 video package. If you live in NJ, WWE 24/7 is carried on Patriot Video. I’ve never heard of them, but apparently they’re in NJ somewhere. Go fig.
HEAT MATCH 4: Tyson Tomko (w/Snitsky) vs. Viscera (w.Val Venis).
Tomko gets a surprisingly decent pop coming out, as does Vis (in his ugly purple pajama suit, ugh). Color me surprised. Match itself was pretty standard; Vis does his hip wiggling and basic “I’m a sexy bitch” spots, Tomko does his thing. Among the things yelled at Vis, “Hey Barney, you suck!” and “Mark Henry sucks!” were the most amusing. Snitsky helps Tomko work over Vis while Venis tries to assist, but to no avail; Vis finishes with the 2-handed chokeslam for the win.
After the match, Snitsky and Tomko tease a fight, but nothing comes of it. INTRIGUE! Snitsky draws a “You Suck” chant as he heads to the back, Tomko gets a small “Tomko” chant as he leaves. Huh. Tomko’s at least partially over, who knew?
THEN COMES THE T-SHIRT CANNON! I didn’t get anything, sadly; too busy writing stuff into my notebook. Damn my work ethic.
HEAT MATCH # 5: Trevor Murdoch vs. Golddust.
No noteable pop for Murdoch, Golddust gets a pretty reasonable pop. And right about here I feel like I’m watching Superman vs. Bizarro and my head explodes. BROTHER VERSUS BROTHER< WHO WILL SURVIVE?
Anyway, Murdoch cuts a promo explaining his bailing on their match last week, saying he’s not scared of Golddust and how he had something in his eye. Standard redneck mannerisms throughout. Murdoch then calls out Golddust, and we have a match.
Match was largely forgettable: Dusty Rhodes versus homo-erotic Dusty Rhodes, I think you can imagine how that went. One weird spot came up though: Murdoch did something that I assumed was supposed to be a senton from the top rope, but it looked kind of odd. Finish comes when Murdoch hits a bridged belly-to-back, but Golddust gets the shoulder up, so he’s declared the winner. Lame finish, followed up by Murdoch leveling Golddust with a lariat afterwards.
Triple H video package chews up more time. “The King of Kings”? So The Game died for our sins? Then why the hell is he still here? Though that does explain the moustache… We also get a “See No Evil” video package, and I’m actually going to go see that, if only because my love of bad cinema equals my love of bad video games.
Countdown to RAW… for those watching at home, I was sitting under the “SUBA”/”WWE ROCKS” sign, near the ramp.
Bret Hart video package plays, and Bret draws one of the largest pops of the evening, despite not being there. Lillian comes out and sings the Star Spangled Banner, as expected. She comes out to the ring to her WWE Originals song, if you care (I still kind of like it). The announce team joins us at this time as well. Lillian and Jerry draw good pops, Joey gets a huge ECW chant, and Coach draws a reasonable amount of boos. Lillian fills us in on the show and the first match, then we get a video recap of last week.
Then the pyro goes off and I go deaf for about five minutes. Also, I have no idea how the wrestlers stand the pyro; fifteen rows back that stuff’s hot as hell.
From here on out I’m only going to comment on what you DIDN’T see on TV, or on fan reactions. Ready? GO!
– The Diva Battle Royal: Nobody but Victoria and Torrie really got anything other than the token “Woo, you’re hot” reaction. Victoria and Torrie drew decent face pops. When Trish came out, she got a real good face pop, which I actually expected.
– Edge came out to a good initial pop, followed by solid boos. When he mentioned Foley, the place popped heavily, and the fans were quite into the “Ho” chant. Duggan got a surprisingly good pop.
– If you’re wondering why Duggan’s promo seemed drawn out (it did to me), that’s because the WWE folks were rolling Ashley Massaro out on a stretcher while that was going on. I’m guessing she landed badly in the finish of the Battle Royal (probably on her head?) and had to be rolled out.
– And I just looked at a live recap of the show and realized that none of you at home had to deal with Duggan’s promo. It was pretty bad, trust me. He compared Edge to farmers. Right.
– Edge draws great heel heat for kicking the crap out of Duggan post-match. Also, the make-out session continued for a bit past the end of the taping segment. No idea why.
– The Cena video piece they showed next drew some pretty good pops. So he went from boos to pops? I have no idea why this is.
– Kane drew a pretty good pop coming out. Masters got a pop for his pose-down and pyro, but not for his actual entrance.
– The section I was in started a dueling chant of “Chokeslam/Masterlock”. I have no idea why, and I’m not sure I care. Mostly because I don’t like Masters, but hey, whatever.
– Kane got a huge pop for reversing the Masterlock into his own attempt, which continued all the way until the finish. Masters drew decent heat for locking up Kane in the Masterlock and the beatdown that followed.
– In case you’re wondering why Kane didn’t use his pyro, if I remember right, Soverign Bank Arena (or maybe it’s Jersey) has rules against that sort of thing. Pyrotechnics and actual FIRE are considered differently, but I can’t honestly recall Kane ever doing his ring pyro once in a single appearance in SBA. Or so I’m told, anyway.
– If anything happened between this and the RVD promo, I missed it while I spent my time answering inane questions. “Who’s that guy?” (in reference to Masters), for instance.
– The RVD promo package drew a huge pop.
– FYI, yes, SBA was indeed sold out for this show. I couldn’t see a single empty seat in the arena. Jersey loves its wrestling, yeah?
– At this point, we are treated to a WWE.com “Sign Check”, where an announcer comments on the signs the camera catches. “Let’s see… ‘I want Mickey James to be my friend’… that’s all she’d ever be, buddy.” Awesome.
– Flair v. Benjamin: Flair drew what was, until this point, the pop of the night. Benjamin gets some polite heel poppage, but not much else. Fialr spends the whole match hugely over, as expected, but by the end of the match, the fans were solidly cool with Benjy, and popped nicely when he won the title.
– Two minor comments: First, the EMS workers checking on Miss Benjamin were actual EMS workers for the SBA, not local indy guys. Second, whoever is the parent of the kid that kept screaming “BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE 2, STARRING SHELTON’S MOMMA” in my ear, your kid is neither cute nor funny. Tell him to knock it the hell off.
– “Divas Do NY” promo draws several shouts of “Titties!” but not much else.
– Stacey video promo for Dancing with the Stars gets a decent pop. I vote for her every week, sight unseen, just because. You should too.
– The Spirit Squad gets zero reaction coming out, but once the “Shawn is going to hell” line comes out, the fans turn on them hardcore. Shawn gets a Flair quality pop. The fans were massively into Shawn during the match, but the SS didn’t really get much reaction, which is kind of a shame, as I thought they were okay. Plus they paid off the trampoline plant with that clothesline bit on the outside, which was pretty cool.
– When the beatdown followed, the fans really turned on the SS. Marty Janetty making the save drew another massive face pop. The Marty chant wasn’t piped in folks, that was the real deal.
– Nick Burke comes out while the commercials are going and stands around in the dark for five minutes. I didn’t know it was him at the time, of course; they never said his name at any point. When Carlito came out, he got a solid, if unspectacular, reaction.
– Carlito’s promo/angle-advancement match/whatever came off really well live, but I don’t think it had the intended live effect; the Trenton crowd liked it quite a bit. Well, we’re bloodthirsty like that, I guess.
– We got to see the whole “Matt Stryker does GQ” bit, and if what they showed on the Titantron was any indication, you guys got shafted. His Dean Douglas shtick is pretty good, and I thought it was pretty funny stuff live. It’ll probably end up on WWE.com, so go check it out when you can. Matt also drew a solid face reaction when he came out, but by the end, the fans were giving him a solid heel pop. Good for him.
– Bret draws another large pop, and Eddy tears the roof off when he shows up on-screen.
– Vince gets a surprisingly solid face pop, with smattered heel heat. The Marty hiring drew a solid pop… and the KMA Club announcement got almost zero live reaction. Seriously. Either the fans don’t remember the KMA Club, or they just don’t care. Either way, I don’t think that was the anticipated reaction.
– Triple H video promo gets a loud mixed reaction.
– Maria comes out for the “WWE Kiss Cam”. Two people get hit with the camera and are expected to kiss. One guy-guy couple was hit (they declined) as was one girl-girl couple (they obliged). The rest was pretty silly. Also, Maria on the stick hurts after move than five straight minutes, FYI.
– Main event time. RVD and Big Show both drew really large pops; Triple H drew a mixed reaction, also very large. The fans were massively into the match from the start, and things like the Big Show double chokeslam drew equally massive pops. The ending sequence of events got the fans going, and Triple H got a solid reaction for winning.
– Cena hits the ring, also to a massive pop, and the staredown that came of this drew massive fan interest until Triple H bailed to the back.
– BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Cena, now alone, addresses the crowd, saying that Triple H has now won the right to challenge him for the belt at Wrestlemania. Now that Triple H has left, some boos are coming out against Cena, and he acknowledges this. He then calls out Edge for a match, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW, which draws a good pop.
YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME?
Edge tells the fans not to cheer for him, because “Where were you when I was in a neck collar two years ago?” Well, I suppose if I had been in your house rooting you on you’d have called the cops, Edge, so what the hell are you complaining about?
EDGE vs. JOHN CENA, SPECIAL “FANS GO HOME HAPPY FOREGONE CONCLUSION MATCH”.
Back and forth matchup to start, tie-ups are inconclusive, but Cena hits a shoulder tackle to take charge, which sends Edge to the floor. Ref counts Edge back in, and both men are at a standoff. Kick to the gut takes control for Edge, but after some brawling, Cena and Edge go back and forth for control. Cena hits a clothesline, which gets him two, but Edge tosses him out to take control. As Cena gets to his feet, Edge nails a baseball slide to keep him off-balance, then proceeds to mock Cena in the ring (turning “You Can’t See Me” into a gesture for whacking off, which was actually pretty funny). Fans are now firmly behind Cena at this point, and proceed to chant his name until Edge goes outside to continue the beating. Not that I blame him, but still. Fans start chanting “Ho” a lot while Cena takes his lumps. Edge brings it back in and goes for a cover, which gets him two, unsurprisingly. Edge mocks Cena a bit, then hits him with a nice standing dropkick, which also gets two. But now here comes the Cena comeback… Cena off the ropes, and RIGHT INTO THE SLEEPER. That has to suck. This drags on for a bit, until the fans start chanting “Boring”. You have to wonder what Cena and Edge think of getting “Boring: chants during an unadvertised special match that they’re performing just for the fans. Of course, by this point I’ve been sitting in my seat for almost four hours and I want to go the hell home, so I sympathize. Anyway, Cena fights out of the Sleeper and hits a DDT, and we get the 10-count spot out of that. Both men make it up at eight, and start laying into one another, which Cena gets the better of. Lariats and a shoulderblock follow, and Cena hits the belly-to-back and the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Maybe if Cena doesn’t want people making masturbation references about his hand gestures he should change the name of that move. Just saying. Edge is up, Cena pumps up, but the FU is reversed into the Edge-O-Matic for two. Edge goes to the top, Cena follows him in an attempt to hit the FU, Edge fights out, lands, and turns this into an Electric Chair Drop. Okay, that was pretty cool. Spear is set up, Cena dodges it. Edge goes for a second try, which Cena leapfrogs, and Edge hits the ref. Ugh… Cena with the FU, no ref. Lita passes the title belt off to Edge, then hits the Greco-Roman ballshot on Cena for good measure. Edge proceeds to plow Cena with the belt. Ref is awake, one two NO! Edge jaws at the ref as Lita grabs Cena and holds him up, Edge goes for the Spear, Cena dodges out and Lita takes the fall. FU, and the STFU is academic for the win. Solid match overall; would have been more interesting if not for the three hours of wrestling that preceded it, but it was a perfectly acceptable way to cap off the show.
1. Flair/Cena. (PK noted that Cena got mucho pop when he first came out, so I thought I’d note that)
2. Shawn Michaels.
3. Marty Jannety.
4. Bret Hart.
5. The entirety of the RVD/Big Show/HHH match.
BIGGEST HEEL HEAT:
2. The Spirit Squad.
3. The guy with the T-Shirt cannon when he stopped shooting.
4. Cena (off and on).
5. Masters (after beating down Kane).