Monday, 6 June 2005

WWE Raw, June 6th 2005 - TV Review

Over the past few weeks or so, I've normally watched the Wednesday night repeat of Raw, but something was different. Read the following review, and you'll find out why!

The show starts with Eric Bischoff announcing that he's pulled off something of a coup, and that a massive announcement of the first draft pick will be made imminently. Not even Coach moaning about how Paul Heyman is on his way to the arena dampens his enthusiasm.

The show proper starts with Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel. Jericho goes into hyperbole mode about just who is Raw's first draft lottery pick. Could it be Kurt Angle? Eddie Guerrero? Or Mark Jindrak perhaps? Nope, it's John Cena. Yep, the WWE Champion has been drafted to Raw, and the crowd goes absolutely nuts. It's one of the Raw moments that sadly doesn't happen too much these days, because it's totally unexpected. Cena is more than happy to be on Raw, even though it leaves Smackdown without a champion. But Christian isn't too happy about the new arrival, and he comes down and badmouths the Doctor of Thuganomics. Cena brings out probably the best rap he's ever done, and sends the heels running for cover after taking on both Christian and the Damien DiMento tribute act.

Diva search promo next. Not a reason to stay up until 4.15am to watch future editions.

It's two-on-one next, as Iron Sheik-lite and his cohort take on Shelton Benjamin in a handicap match for the Intercontinental title, and we're told this match is happening because Hassan threatened legal action if it didn't. Hassan pins Benjamin after his finisher, but the ref disallows his own decision when he realizes that Benjamin's foot is on the ropes. Needless to say, Benjamin goes on to pin Daivari to retain the title, so Hassan still remains unpinned.

In the dressing room, Benoit and Tajiri argue with Regal about ECW's One Night Stand. Regal announces that he's joined Bischoff's anti-ECW group, turning heel in the process. Wonder what Regal would be like in an ECW-rules match.

Back in the arena, Chris Masters actually competes in a wrestling match, and it's against the man who almost broke his Masterlock last week, Val Venis. This is a surprisingly good match, with everyone's favourite porn stud doing a great job of putting Masters over for the win.

Backstage, Flair hypes up Triple H's contract signing, before Bischoff goes to a ring full of indy wrestlers dressed as cops. Firstly, the Bisch warns Paul Heyman, and dares him to show up on Raw. When they get the contract signing for the Hell in a Cell match at Vengeance, and we're told that the Batista/Triple H match is draft protected, so even if either guy ends up on Smackdown, the match will still take place. Surprisingly, there's no brawl between the two, as is the norm at in-ring contract signings, but there's some great one liners from both Dave and Trips here.

Mixed six person tag here, as the Heartthrobs and Victoria take on the Hurricane, Rosey, and the redheaded bimbo. Not much to write home about here, except for the fact that Victoria, who used to be portrayed as the ultimate psycho-bitch, actually seems scared of big red. Come on Vikki, grow a set!

JR and the King then tell us why Ms Garcia is missing tonight. It's not a pretty mental picture tonight. A miserable looking Kane then comes out, hoping to take his mind of his marital strife by kicking someone's ass. But it doesn't go the way he wanted, when Edge and Lita, who is wearing quite a revealing top, come down and poke fun at the big red machine. Edge v Kane at Vengeance is announced, and the happy couple announce they're going to get married! Why did I keep thinking of Matt Hardy when I saw this?

Kane's match mysteriously vanishes during a commercial break, because as we return the Coach appears, and takes up a seat at the commentary desk. It's amazing that announcers always seem surprised when a third party joins them at the table, because there's always a third chair there. Maybe Lawler keeps the chair there to put his crown on. Anyway, it's main event time, as Benoit takes on Snitsky in an ECW-rules match. The boys use a ton of toys against each other, but just before we go to the break, who should appear but Mama Dudley's favourite boys, who take out the Snits with a 3-D through a table.

We return after a break to find that the match has ended, and Benoit won after a head butt off the top rope. Another match or ending we've missed tonight. Backstage, Coach leads the indy guys...I mean cops as they arrest the Dudleys and Heyman. But Heyman says it's wrong to arrest someone who was more or less invited to the show. Coach agrees with him, and the cuffs are taken off. Another damn commercial. How can you Americans live like this?

Back in the arena, Bischoff comes to the ring with some of his anti-ECW group, Edge, Christian and Tomko. Bischoff calls Heyman out, and is surprised that all he brought along with him was the Dudleys. Some great back and forth comments between Bischoff and Heyman here, with at one point it looks as if Heyman and the Dudleys are totally outnumbered, until....The Sandman.....Tommy Dreamer.....Rhyno.....Axl Rotten.....and Xanta Claus, I mean Balls Mahoney, storm the ring. There's a massive brawl between the Raw and ECW factions, before Maven is left alone in the ring and takes one hell of a beating. As the show goes off the air, Heyman's crew drape a homemade ECW banner over the top rope.

Conclusion - it's this kind of show, full of great action and unpredictable moments, that made Raw what it was a few years ago. It's something that's certainly been lacking recently, but this week they delivered. Cena, the ECW crew, and the promise of more shocks from the draft lottery made this week's Raw something special. A hell of a programme this week. I hope they can keep this up, but a small part of me knows they won't be able to.