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OO RAW RECAP
Treading Water 
August 1, 2006

by The Rick
Undisputed Lord and Master of OnlineOnslaught.com

 

Well: WWE's at it again this week.... they're practically daring me to fast-forward and not-give-a-shit-about roughly four segments out of every five. 
 

Take out the well-constructed "Sports Entertainment Segment" of a main event, and take out Foley/Flair's verbal confrontation, and the rest of RAW can accurately be summed up thusly: nothing important or interesting happened.

Upping my frustration is the fact that it's not like the root  

causes of that tepidity are confusing or mysterious.... rather, they are the same causes that have been hamstringing shows for over a month now. How many weeks are you gonna go with Edge getting 90 second cameos before somebody realizes he's got more to contribute than that (and is, afterall, the champion)? How many weeks are you gonna go serving up ubiquitous Diva Search Crap (this week, totaling 8 segments and probably close to 10 minutes of TV time) before a judge would declare the homicides I would like to commit in Stamford "justifiable"? How many weeks are you gonna trot Randy Orton out there to be one of the most utterly disposable, dismissible, un-engaging "personalities" in recent memory (and equip him with pitiable lame material, to boot)?

Reprising my metric from last week, I started this RAW with a 50 minute time-shift, and it was all gone before the final commercial break. Not good, WWE: not good. Granted: nothing was outright BAD, either, but when you're presenting a 2 hour show where half of it is easily fast-forward-able and viewers won't miss a single worthwhile thing, you're screwing the pooch. It remains hilarious to me that a company that can't even fill up the TV time it has continues to hype the "Unlimited" segments during commercial breaks (and even more hilarious that apparently some people are starved for C-minus-caliber entertainment that they'll dial it up).

But discussions on WWE's priorities are for a future time. For now, the task at hand is trying to turn about 62 borderline-worthwhile minutes of RAW into the OO minimum of 62 KB of rhetorical excellence. Let's see if I got it in me this week:

Opening Theme/Pyro/Etc., and we're live from East Rutherford, NJ, where we're assured that a sell-out crowd has assembled. And my, aren't they fixing to be disappointed? Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler run down a few of tonight's planned highlights, when we are interrupted by The Boss...

Technical Gaffes: Accidental or Intentional? YOU Make the Call!

Actually, come to think of it: I lied. The initial interruption was by Shane McMahon, whose music hit, and he came out onto the not-a-stage-because-this-was-a-supershow-joint-taping to shuck and jive for a moment before the music shifted over, and he was joined by his dad. Together, the pair hit the ring, and Vince picks himself up a microphone.

Vince says that despite all the crap that's been going down with DX lately, nothing will spoil his mood. Because last Monday, his precious daughter Stephanie gave birth to a little baby girl. [Note: apparently I am a jerk for commenting that "Aurora Rose" sounded like a custom made Stripper Name. Many readers wrote in to tell me that it is, in fact, the name of "Sleeping Beauty," and could not be a more lovely and innocent name. Whoopsie.] At some point during this spiel, the first 4 nanoseconds of the DX Theme Song fired up for some reason, and Vince seemed genuinely confused and distracted, as it took him several seconds to get back on track with some limp taunt about how his grand-daughter is already wealthier and more intelligent than anybody else in the entire arena.

Continuing on, he said the party celebrating his grand-daughter's birth would continue all the way on to SummerSlam. [Another ultra-brief DX Theme Song Interruption, but this time, it seemed to be on purpose, and Vince handled it better.] Because at SummerSlam, Vince and Shane are dedicating their performance against DX to little Aurora Rose. Shane was about to put his two cents worth in when the DX Theme Song finally began in earnest, and Shawn Michaels and Triple H hit the not-a-stage area.

DX offered the McMahons various Jewish greetings, to what could charitably be called "not very many laughs." Then Shawn took over, and said that unbeknownst to the McMahons, Triple H was at the hospital last week while Steph was giving birth... and as a result, DX is now in possession of the McMahon Family Photo Album. This leads to more alleged comedy in which photoshopped pictures of Vince as a baby (with an "I [heart] cocks" bib), of Shane as a baby (with a silver spoon in his mouth), and of little Aurora Rose (HHH's face on the baby's body, requiring HBK to quip that the baby sure looks familiar) are shown. In a moment that was apparently scripted to be purposely-bad (but which didn't un-do the fact that it was Genuinely Bad), Shane joked that the McMahons aren't babies, DX are babies, and that at SummerSlam "we're going to change your diapers." Huhwhaaaaaa??

Vince's response to that was to try to wrap the segment up by asking them to play his music, but HHH said "nuh uh," because this isn't over until DX says it's over. And before it's over, DX has some sound advice for Vince's grand-daughter. It's two words worth of sound advice, actually. And if you weren't 8 steps ahead of HHH on the breast-feeding joke, then you're officially retarded. 

After New Jersey gets to shout "Suck It," HHH and Michaels throw down their mics and wait. And wait. And nothing happens. So HHH picks up the mic and says "seems the guys in the truck are having a rough night." He says that now would be a good time to play DX's music. Vince (possibly ad-libbing) says that no, we should play HIS music. HHH insists, however, and after the awkwardness, DX's music fires up, and the McMahons are treated to choreographed crotch chops from DX. 

That was.... pointless. And awkward. I don't know if the technical mistakes were on purpose or not.... but if they were, it's an uncommon level of sloppiness for WWE's usually slick production staff. And if they weren't? Well, then, I officially couldn't give a rat's ass, since it's not like "perpetual production gaffes" is the cornerstone of a compelling storyline.

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No Sale, Part 1 (of -- I am not shitting you -- 8 Parts): Miz introduces a Diva Search contestant, who apparently says a bunch of stuff that I will describe as "possibly words" while I hit the FF button.

Johnny Nitro vs. Carlito vs. Shelton Benjamin (IC Title Match)

Carlito enters first (with new t-shirt). Shelton enters second. Nitro enters last, and as he's about to do his ring entrance where he slides into the ring between Melina's legs, Carlito takes the opportunity to baseball slide through Melina's legs and kick Nitro in the back of the head. Sadly, for as creative a spot as that was, they didn't pause to put the capper on it, which should have been Carlito pausing to admire the upskirt angle while Melina (chaste as she clearly is) registers all manner of indignation.

Carlito and Nitro throw fists for about 10 seconds at ringside, then Shelton gets a running start up in the ring and hits a no-hands senton down onto both men. All three are down, and we've just had ourselves an unhealthily hearty dose of 25 seconds of wrestling action, so let's break for....

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Back, and Carlito is MIA (clips show us that Shelton waylaid him from behind during the break, while Carlito was focusing his attention on Nitro). That leaves Shelton and Nitro in the ring, with Shelton working a (d'oh) chinlock. Quasi-fire-up by the decidedly non-babyface-ish Nitro leads to a bit of suspicious cooperation and positioning. Once both guys are near enough to the ropes, Shelton and Nitro trade pinning combos back and forth 2 or 3 times, when Carlito suddenly springboards over the duo and picks Shelton off, rolling him up (for a 2 count) in the process. Nice, if a bit choreographed-looking.

This led to a very brief segment in which Shelton and Nitro joined forces to beat up on Carlito. That lasted about 30 seconds, and then Carlito started a rally following a "dueling monkeyflips" spot. Shelton got taken care of first, with Carlito's lower-level offense. Then the attention turned to Nitro, who got Carlito's higher-power offense (including a Frankensteiner). However, when Carlito turned back to Shelton, Shelton had recovered, and nailed Carlito with a wicked DDT. 

Nitro was KO'ed, and Carlito was in a bad way, so Melina did some quick thinking, and pulled Carlito to one side of the ring and draped his foot over the bottom rope to break the pinfall. Shelton got pissed off at Melina, and while he was jawing with her, Carlito was getting ready to strike from behind.... but while Carlito was getting ready, Nitro already had a running start, and pummeled into both men. Shelton went flying out over the top rope, and Carlito got rolled up for a quick three count.

Your Winner, and Still IC Champ: Johnny Nitro, via pinfall, in maybe 6-7 minutes or so (only 3-4 of them after the ad break, though). Pretty standard fare here, and easily a step down from last week's Shelton/Carlito match. Not bad, mind you, but so far away from what you know these three *could* do that it was hard to get stoked at any point along the way... I'm assuming, then, that this was but an appetizer for a future blow-off 3-way match (probably at SummerSlam) that *will* rock the kasbah.

No Sale, Part 2: FF.

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Orton Knows How Best to Bore an Audience

As we come back from break, Young Randall Orton is already in the ring. He makes the generic noises about beating Hulk Hogan at SummerSlam, and then makes a few specific claims about how this will catapult him to crossover/mainstream success (just like Stacy Keibler?). One of Orton's claims is that he'll get to write a book or two, which is makes me smile, but not for the intended reasons.

This leads Orton to declare that he's already been offered his own reality show, so tonight, he'd like to introduce us to the cast of "Orton Knows Best." Hogan's "Real American" theme fires up, and out come a batch of Hogan family impersonators... there's Linda, Hulk's daughter Brooke, and Hulk's other daughter Nick. The crowd, which had generously been paying attention and offered up a half-assed "Hogan, Hogan" chant during Randall's earlier rambling, officially tapped out at this point, and the rest of the segment played to silence.

Orton talked to "Nick" first, and when Nick said he wanted to be a wrestler, Orton pounded on him and threw him out of the ring. Then Orton put the bad-mouth on "Linda" (because of her sub-par taste in men). "Hulk" finally stepped up and blustered a few Hogan Style Cliches at Orton (hey, this week, Randy didn't noticeably flub any lines.... but the Hogan Impersonator did! The Dumb: it's contagious, baby!). Orton pretended to beg off, and once "Hulk" cooled down, Orton went back into Generic Rambling.

I almost felt bad for the guy (almost) as he was trying to ramp up the intensity, talking about ending the legend of Hulk Hogan at SummerSlam, but everytime he tried to turn to milk the crowd, they gave him nothing but bored silence. Tee hee. Finally: a writer-y punchline, as Orton said Hogan could "kiss his career good-bye. Which leads me to another kiss." And duh: he laid a big smooch on "Brooke."

"Hulk" finally stepped in after a lengthy interval, so Orton gave him an RKO. Then Orton left the ring, satisfied he'd made his point. I guess. Although I couldn't tell you what the point was. For reasons unclear, Orton's paid "Fake Brooke" kept making eyes at him like she was smitten, and JR had to sell it like it was really Brooke and she was really picking Orton over her own father. Or something. Again: nobody seemed to put any thought into this segment (other than the graphic genius who took 2 minutes to mock up the "Orton Knows Best" logo with Orton's Pose of Ultimate Douchebaggery replacing the "T" in "Orton"), and it went nowhere, advanced nothing, and did not have anything resembling a climactic finish.

As Orton was strutting around the ring to exit, he paused extra long in front of the announce table, and then turned around and shoved Jerry Lawler. Ahhhh, crap: I hate being right all the time.

Backstage: the McMahons are chatting in an office, and in walks Armando Alejandro Estrrrrrrrrrrrada, who wants to (1) promise that his man Umaga will take care of Shawn Michaels later tonight, and (2) offer up congratulations to the family on their recent addition. To back up #2, Armando reaches into a secret pocket and pulls out two Cuban cigars. Vince likey Cubans, and asks if Armando has any more. As it turns out: he has three boxes in the car, and they're all Vince's. Vince likey again. Armando leaves, and Shane decides to snag Vince's Cuban because "You don't smoke anymore, dad." Now Shane likey because he's doubled his stinky, stinky fun, while Vince looks crestfallen.

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The Inevitable: Jerry Lawler issued a challenge to Randy Orton for next week. Just like I said would happen. On the upside: I didn't realize there was gonna be a RAW in Memphis, and Lawler having the hometown advantage should count for SOMEthing in terms of a bit of sizzle on an otherwise stultifyingly dull contest.

No Sale, Part 3: FF.

Trish Stratus and Candice Michelle vs. Mickie James and Victoria

Torrie Wilson is your Very Special Guest Referee For No Discernable Reason.

Let's see: Trish is awesome, but there is precious little she can do while standing idly by on a ring apron, which means that the opening 2 minutes of this match were a bit trying. Candice got some short-bus offense in on Victoria (all arm-related, since that's something that would be damned near impossible to screw up), but that came to an end once Mickie got tagged in.

Throw in another minute or so of Candice lying there getting stomped and hair-pulled, and then Mickie and Victoria started setting up for something fancy (that required Victoria to go up to the top rope). Candice shoved Mickie into the ropes (causing Victoria to fall and crotch herself on the top turnbuckle), and then made the tag to Trish.

Immediately, Trish ran over to Victoria and hit the handstand head scissors takedown, then focused on Mickie with some other crowd pleasers (including the Handjob Chops, and the Faceful of Vagina Powerbomb). Mickie tried to start a comeback by throwing punches, but Referee Torrie was having none of that, and blocked Mickie's punches. Trish took advantage by immediately hitting a (sloppy) Stratusfaction Bulldog for the win.

Your Winners: Trish Stratus and Candice Michelle, via pinfall, in about 4-5 minutes. Eh. JR can yammer all he wants about how Candice is really stepping up her game in the ring, but that doesn't necessarily make it true. And Candice's all-encompassing lack of anything resembling ability must have somehow rubbed off on Trish if that final sloppy spot was any indication. Not really a great outing, and I continue to be baffled that Torrie and Candice are being shoehorned in with the Actual Wrestlers. Though I guess in this case, the net result will end up being that Trish pinned the Women's Champ in a non-title situation, so let's just forget everything else and focus on that, eh?

Backstage: Mick Foley is here, and he's chatting with Melina and Nitro. He starts off with some non-sequitur about "Grease" or "Fame" or something along those lines that I didn't understand because I'm not that old. Then he says he's got some jitters since he hasn't been live on RAW in six weeks, so it'd mean a lot to him if Melina would come out to the ring with him and introduce him and lend some moral support. Melina says she'd love to, and Nitro approves, so Mick offers Melina an arm, and declares "Great. Now I've got a show to steal, so let's go!". 

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No Sale, Part 4: FF.

Try As He Might, Foley's Still gOOd

Back from break, and Foley's already in the ring as Melina gives him a nice fancy intro. Jeez Louise: for a show that had absolutely nothing worthwhile happening, they sure are having to shave time by cutting down ring entrances and crap, aren't they? First Orton, now Mick...

Mick gets on the mic, and says that he's thought long and hard about it, and he thinks maybe tonight is the night he gives the fans what they want. Right here. In New Jersey. YAY~! Mick Foley and Ric Flair, in the same ring! YAY~! Going for the tag team titles! [confused silence, with some YAYs~!] Oh wait: that's a ludicrous premise: Mick and Flair will never be in the same ring together. Sorry for getting your hopes up there, New Jersey! BOO~!

And then there's something else that might be ludicrous on the surface, but Mick would like Melina to stick with him for a bit... because as much as people think Flair and Foley are wildly different people, they do have some remarkable similarities. Such as: they both have tried to groom the next generation of wrestling talent (Flair with Orton several years ago, and Foley today with the lovely Melina). They both have famous friends (Flair is friends with George W. Bush himself, which got booed; Foley is friends with some pornstar whose name didn't register with me, and who got cheered). And they've both been written up in more newspapers than they could ever have imagined: it's just that Mick's media coverage has been for writing books, while Flair's is for embarrassing Road Rage incidents. ZING~!

With that, Flair's heard just about enough, and he comes strutting on out to the ring. Removes his coat. Flair flops to the mat for no reason. Aha; so it's gonna be one of *those* promos from Flair...

Flair immediately goes into Crazy Old Guy Mode, seemingly trying to respond to three weeks' worth of Foley's comments, but doing it all in one big burst and not in any particular order. Says he's waited long enough, and now he wants his rematch. Compared Foley's waffling to Alex Rodriguez's "laziness" on the diamond. Started listing the "imaginary" bad-asses that Foley mentioned 3 weeks ago, and says that any one of Bruiser Brody, Stan Hansen, or Harley Race would make chopped liver out of Foley. Performed an elbow drop on thin air for no readily apparent reason as he REALLY started to get worked up. Said that Foley's tasted his blood, so now it's Flair's turn to taste Foleys. He wants Cactus Jack, he wants baseball bats, steel chairs, barbed wire. And thumbtacks, oh baby does Flair want thumbtacks. At which point he Flops again and starts rolling around spasmodically in an imaginary pile of tacks.

Foley is properly cowed by this display of Crazy Old Guy-ness, and is backed into a corner. But when Flair steps over the line and says that he can't understand what a woman like Melina is doing with a man like Foley, cuz 15 years ago, she would have been prime Space Mountain material, *that* is when Mick nuts up. He says that it disgusts him that Flair looks at Melina and sees a possible sexual conquest, when he feels honored that he can look at Melina and see a friend. Which sounds really lame and stilted, but it was Foley's way to transition into talking about how Flair's a terrible father and husband, while at least Mick has never shirked his duties on that front.

This accusation gets Flair's dander up, and Mick immediately backs off, saying he's sorry, and as a matter of fact, he just remembered a long flight back from the Philippines when he was seated next to Flair, and the only thing the two had to talk about was family. And Mick was touched to see that Flair called his family from the plane just to say he loves them, "just in case, cuz you never know in this life." Mick says that's the day that he became jealous of Flair, because he knew he would never have the kind of bond like that with his children, when he'd call them from the road, and get to tell them...

"Kids, daddy just got arrested." ZING~!

Talk about a "punchline" in a literal sense, as it took Flair all of about 1.2 seconds to unload a right hand to Foley's chin. But that's also just about all he got, as Foley chickenshitted his way on out of the ring.

As Mick was back-peddling with Melina in tow, Jonathan Coachman came out and announced he just came from Vince McMahon's office, and a new match has just been added to SummerSlam: Ric Flair vs. Mick Foley. But Mick's all "Nuh uh." Because Vince is gonna have to go back and read Mick's contract: it says Foley can wrestle when he wants against who he wants. "And after 20 years of the Mick Foley Stuntman Show, I know I still have a few good matches left in my body. But I'll be damned if I waste one of them on you, you old, used-up piece of crap!" And that's the final word on that subject for tonight.

Call me biased, or call me an easy touch, but for my money, the only part of RAW that has made "accomplishing almost nothing" fun and entertaining have been Foley and Flair's segments (and mostly due to Foley). Here we are, STILL without a match signed for SummerSlam (as far as Mick's concerned, anyway), yet they keep churning out the compelling TV.

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No Sale, Part 5: FF.

John Cena vs. Matt Striker

Striker did a pre-match promo (in his tooltastic argyle sweater vest) on the etymology (or more accurately, the LACK of etymology) of the word "homey." Total elapsed time: 90 seconds.

John Cena made a ring entrance, and preened and posed like he wasn't getting booed by 75% of the audience (but he was; an in fact, a little birdie told me that they trimmed down Cena's involvement in the show on the fly because of how anti-Cena the crowd seemed). Elapsed time: around 2 minutes.

Edge and Lita came out and positioned themselves at a special Rated R Announce Table. Elapsed time: 60 seconds.

Four-plus minutes of prelude then gave way to 45 seconds of action. I am not joking, Edge barely had time to make a joke about Lita being the Queen of Jugganomics (and how that's cooler than whatever it is Cena's a doctor of), and then had just started an OO-inspired tirade about what a joke it is that he's the champion and he's reduced to being a bit player on RAW, so that's why he's out here.

Looks like he should have picked something other than a 1 minute squash match for his grand appearance. D'oh.

Your Winner: John Cena, via submission to the SSTF, in less than a minute. The lusty, anti-Cena crowd probably meant a segment originally intended to be longer was pared down, but even if Edge got 5 minutes on guest commentary instead of 1, is that honestly the best use of his skills? I think not.

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Highlander Butch vs. Spirit Squad Johnny

Goddammit, I can only pretend not to care about the individual names of one team without it being hacky; so I guess for this week, Johnny, you're off the hook, and I'll recognize you and remember your name.

Basic back-and-forth start, but when the Squad starts using the 5-on-1 advantage to help Johnny, the ref catches them in the act. The Squad toss their mega-phone dealy around like a hot potato, but finally the ref gets it in *his* hands and declares that all four non-wrestling members of the Squad are ejected from ringside.

You'd think this would be good for Highlander Butch, and it was. But only for about 15 seconds; then Johnny used a Handful of Kilt to ram Butch into the ringpost and take over. Standard fare for a minute or two, until Johnny opts to settle in with a Modified Chinlock (with a sort of half-assed Cobra Clutch effect added in). Requisite rally for Rory, mostly with slobberknockerish type moves that didn't really inspire any crowd response. Highlight was a full-nelson back breaker, I guess.

The "big" finish was a touch of double-reverse-y-ness, where Johnny hit the spinning kick that I thought was dubbed the "Johnny Go-Round." But then he paused too long to taunt Highlander Luke (who had spent the entire match lawfully standing still and not interfering, and ironically enough, being a perfectly good Male Cheerleader). That allowed Butch to come up from behind and roll him up for the surprise pinfall.

Your Winner: Rory McAllister, via pinfall, in about 4 minutes. The spot where the ref used the Squad's own megaphone to eject them was cute, I guess, but that's also the point in the match where the air kinda went out of the thing, as it became apparent they were really just gonna limp through a connect-the-dots, formulaic affair, instead of keeping the Squad around for amusing shenanigans. And trust me: with the Highlanders in-ring ceiling where it is, this is a feud that's gonna have to be predicated on some shenanigans and comic relief if it's to catch on with the fans, cuz bland affairs like this aren't gonna cut the mustard.

No Sale, Part 6: FF.

[ads]

No Sale, Part 7: This was the part where seven divas actually came out in front of the live fans, but then only six left, cuz one got eliminationed. But I still FF'ed.

Hype: WWE held a glorified pep rally for WrestleMania 23 in Detroit last week. I'm still FF'ing.

Backstage: Shawn Michaels is getting geared up for his main event match against Umaga, and is shooting the breeze with Triple H... when a pair of "Federal Agents" walk in and say they've gotten a tip that HHH is smuggling contraband. And sure enough, they look in his bags and find two boxes of Cuban cigars. So HHH will have to come downtown and answer some questions... leaving Michaels all by himself. As HHH is escorted out, he passes Vince and Shane McMahon, and shoots them a dirty look, but the McMahons claim ignorance. I guess the cigars are a cutesy, writer-y way of getting HHH out of the picture (and I can only assume the now-unaccounted-for third box of Armando's Cubans will be a similarly cutesy and writer-y way to write the McMahons out next week)... and should I be the one to register mock indignation that WWE so callously used Cuban contraband in a storyline on the very day that an ailing Fidel Castro signed over administrative power to his brother prior to undergoing a surgical procedure? Won't somebody please think of the pinko commie bastards!?!?!?!? They have feelings, too...

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No Sale, Part 8: one more time, just in case you're a retard who didn't figure out how to vote the first 7 times they showed you this information. Then again, if you're wanting to vote, it's pretty much fait acompli that you are a retard, so Fair Play to you, WWE. You know your audience better than I do.

It's Official: Lawler vs. Orton next week from Memphis. Nee haw?

Shawn Michaels vs. Umaga

Opening 2 minutes was all Michaels getting in quick shots, and then dodging or reversing Umaga's more lumbering advances. All very familiar and formulaic, but also all very well executed. After narrowly rolling out of the way of a Yokozuna Butt Splash, Michaels decided to roll out, count his blessings, and regroup. Which is the precise moment that Vince and Shane McMahon decided to come out and make sure that Michaels didn't stray too far from the ring while he was regrouping.

Two minutes of action? That's more than we deserve! So with the announcers blustering that this match is now essentially 4-on-1, we'll pause for our final....

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Back, and against all conventional wisdom, it's Michaels who is in command. For 4 seconds. Then Umaga clothelines him, and The Formula is restored: the lengthy heel beatdown beginulates.

Nothing fancy about it, except for one wicked front-kick that sent Michaels flying out of the ring and got Ooohhhs and Ahhhhhhs (proving that it's not Umaga's moveset that matters, it's hitting those moves against credible opponents, and in matches that people have some reason to give a shit about). There was some decent brawling outside, but then back in the ring, and we throttled it back. Umaga's resthold of choice: a neck vice of some sort.

Michaels hit a decoy fire-up out of that hold, but Umaga set him back down with another kick. Umaga kept the heat on, too, eventually setting up for his Running Butt Splash. But once again, the power of Christ compels Shawn to not have another man's ass in his face. So he got out of the way, and followed up with the Flying Burrito. But when he tried to Kip Up, Armando Alejandro Estrrrrrrrrada held his arm down. Michaels stood up to confront Armando, and when Umaga tried to charge Michaels from behind, Umaga crashed into Estrrrrrrrada.

But when Michaels tried to charge Umaga, Umaga countered with that sweet Samoan Toss Drop. Then Umaga noticed his manager was KO'ed, and for some reason, started pitching a hissy fit. He surveyed the damage, and then walked around ringside throwing a tantrum and breaking stuff. I guess he loves Armando? In a manly kind of way? 

Finally back into the ring with Umaga, and Vince is taking over for Estrrrrrrada by getting up on the ring apron with a cigar to give the International Sign for Use Your Shitty 80s Finisher Now. Umaga sees, and Umaga tries to obey. But the ref is distracted by Vince, which allows Michaels to hit a low blow on Umaga. It's looking good for HBK, but Vince then decides to KEEP the ref distracted, as Shane McMahon finally interjects himself. Shane and Shawn throw a few fists, and then Michaels KO's Shane with a Flying Burrito. 

And this time, there's nobody to prevent him from Kipping Up cleanly. But once kipped up, Umaga is there with a Running Asiatic Spike (I'm being charitable; it looked like a simple clothesline, but I'll take JR's word for it on this one). Finally Vince releases the referee, and that's your three count.

Your Winner: Umaga, via pinfall, in about 12 minutes. Not too shabby at all, and certainly Umaga's first halfway-decent TV match. A combination of matches of this sort and being involved in storylines of this caliber might actually have the effect of Umaga getting over enough that fans'll accept him as an upper-card/PPV-level performer. MIGHT. There's still a long way to go. But that journey continues next week because of what happened....

After the Match: Shane and Vince got in the ring and took advantage of the beaten Michaels. First, Vince used his belt to whip Michaels like the proverbial Government Mule. Then, Vince held a chair up against HBK's head, while Shane tuned up the band and superkicked the chair. And finally, as Vince stood over Michaels' carcass, he announced that DX gets more of the same next week, when Triple H has to face Umaga. And that was just about it. Only a little more posing and posturing by the McMahons before we faded to black...

E-MAIL RICK
BROWSE THE RAW RECAP ARCHIVES


  
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
 
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: 18 Seconds? NO! NO! NO!
 
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
 
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
 
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
 
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
 
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Backfired!
 
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
 
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Destiny Do-Over
 
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
 
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
 
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: In-BRO-pendence Day
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
 
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: #striketwo
 
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
 
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: You're Welcome
 
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Needs More Kane?
 
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Lady Power
 
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
 
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
 
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
 
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
 
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
 
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: No! No! No!
 
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
 
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
 
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28

 

 

 


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