Sunday, 16 September 2007

WWE Saturday Night's Main Event July 2006 - TV Review

With just over a week to go until The Great American Bash, World Wrestling Entertainment presented their second Saturday Night’s Main Event of the year from Dallas, broadcast live on NBC in the States and Sky Sports here in Britain. The show boasted a strong line-up, but did it accomplish what it set out to do?

We begin with the legend making his return, as Hulk Hogan, accompanied by his daughter Brooke, make their appearance in the ring. Both of them say a few words, with Hogan saying that he was on the very first SNME back in 1985, before they’re interrupted by Randy Orton, with a rose in his hand, which he later gives to Brooke upon entering the ring. He then challenges Hogan to a match at Summerslam, which the Hulkster accepts with a handshake, before Orton leaves the ring.

Then it’s onto the first match of the show, as the Smackdown brand gives us King Booker, Finlay and Mark Henry against Rey Mysterio, Bobby Lashley and the returning Batista. About halfway through the match, Henry goes down, and after referee Nick Patrick gives us the “X” sign, it’s obvious that the strongman is injured. For a few moments it looks like the wrestlers don’t know what they’re meant to do because of Henry’s injury, before Batista makes the King look like a jobber by easily taking care of him with the Batista bomb for the win,

Backstage, Vince McMahon and the Spirit Squad discuss tonight’s handicap elimination match with D-Generation X, before the screen splits in two, as Triple H and Shawn Michaels give us their own unique voice-over, which McMahon and the Spirits can’t here. Lot’s of mention of red bottoms, which means that they obviously can’t say the word “ass” on prime time network television. We then see what happened earlier in the evening in the first round of the Divas bull riding contest.

Back in the arena, it’s mixed tag match time, as Melina and Johnny Nitro face Trish Stratus and Carlito. Not much to write home about here. Basically a bit of action from the girls, before Carlito pins Nitro after the back cracker.

We then see another pre-recorded segment, as Texas legend Kevin Von Erich is introduced to his hometown crowd. Is it me, or has Kevin had the same hairstyle since 1980?

More tag-team action, as DX face the Spirit Squad in the handicap elimination tag match. Despite being a two-against-five match, Michaels and Triple H make the tag-team champions look like jobbers, taking all five out in easy order. Despite the build-up this little feud has been given, this match lacked the spark and the drama it needed so badly.

Backstage, Sabu tells us how he’s suicidal…well, you get the drift. Sabu had more of an edge to him when he didn’t talk!

In the ring, Daiviri brings out the Great Khali, in a segment designed to promote the Punjabi Prison Match at the Great American Bash. However, they’re soon interrupted by Paul Heyman and ECW Champion the Big Show. As the two giants stand in the ring, Show tells us how he’s impressed with what Khali did to the Undertaker, before the Dead Man makes an appearance of his own. A fight breaks out, which ends up with the two giants taking the Undertaker down with a double choke slam. Amusing to see Khali and Show in the same ring here. Backstage, as Show and Heyman got to leave, Todd Grisham stops them, and Show challenges the Undertaker to a bout on the ECW show on Tuesday night.

Next up, Sabu takes on Stevie Richards in an ECW rules match. Basic squash match here, with Sabu putting Richards through a table with the help of a chair for the easy win.

In the car park, Orton is seen chatting with Brooke Hogan, before we get a chance to see Brooke’s new music video, About Us. Nothing much to write home about here folks, as it’s your usual load of pop music crap, the sort of thing that Britney Spears and her thousands of clones have been doing for years. Afterwards, we finally get the physical confrontation we wanted, as the Hulkster arrives on the scene, which results in Orton’s RKO on the old man on the boot of his car.

Time to go to the toilet, as we get the final of the Diva bull riding contest, won by Smackdown’s Michelle McCool.

Finally, onto the main event, as Edge defends the WWE title against John Cena, Not a bad encounter between the two, and the best finish of the night as Lita pulls the referee out of the ring just as he’s about to count Edge’s shoulders down to the mat. Cena locks in the STFU, but Lita stops the referee again. After Lita slaps him, the referee climbs back into the ring and calls for the bell. As Cena thinks he’s won the title, he’s informed that Edge has in fact been disqualified because of Lita’s interference. After Edge spears Cena, Cena comes back, and FU’s Edge through the ECW announce table from the top of the ring stairs.

In conclusion - a poor outing from WWE here. I know that WWE and NBC have to please their sponsors, but the constant ad breaks in the middle of the matches made them somewhat difficult to follow, often spoiling the flow of things, which also meant that we only got to see about five minutes of action from each match, and while the WWE title match was okay, the others left a lot to be desired, and they weren’t help by the fact that tag-team champions and “kings” of wrestling were made to look like jobbers. I’m really not surprised this show pulled in very poor viewing figures, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the last Saturday Night’s Main Event we saw for a while.