Well, it’s been about a month since I last did this so I guess I’m overdue, huh? No better way to start back into it with the “flagship” show of the “best” promotion around. Man, I’m starting to feel at home already. Three sentences in and I’m already yearning for some better means at expressing sarcasm. Reviewing may be a skill that can be added to my list of talents, but wit or effective sarcasm are no where to be found. Enough banter; let’s get started, shall we?
This special edition of Raw from across the pond starts off with the normal videos here and there followed by the friendly and very re-assuring voice of Joey Styles. From there, Shawn Michaels comes out flanked by the rest of Team Raw, which would be Carlito, Big Show, Kane, & Chris Masters. Considering the fact that Kane held the WWE Title for a day, Carlito has won one match in like six months, and Masters choked at his first upper mid-card slot; this team is very re-assuring, huh? Eric Bischoff then follows suit and comes out to the ring and he’s got business on his mind tonight! On the stick, Bischoff talks about his team and how they will prove that they are superior. He then moves onto a rumor that has been circulating the internet (not to my knowledge) that Team SmackDown! will be on Raw tonight. He then says he hasn’t seen squat from that brand and even has Todd Grisham on “SmackDown! Watch.” God, that’s a job that suits him very, very well. Grisham says he hasn’t seen squat either. Bischoff then says it’s because of Edge’s plan of the Raw Tag Team Champions infiltrating SmackDown! and destroying Batista. Apparently, Bischoff and Carlito both find that “cool.” Bischoff then goes on a rant about how it’s because of his power, strength, army, et cetera; until Big Show cuts him off and takes the stick. Thank God; Bischoff is not too bad, but when he gets going, you can tell it’s going to be a very long night.
Big Show then states that “we” are “your nothing.” He says they went to beat up Batista because they wanted to, not because of Bischoff. Show then goes onto say that Batista was in the wrong place, at the wrong time, et cetera. I don’t think I’ve ever been as impressed of a main event reject tag team before as I am now. I really mean that with all respect because I do enjoy Kane and Big Show, but it’s quite obvious they are rejects from the promised land. However, they are fitting in very well as a team together and I love Show’s mike skills with Kane’s evil grin to compliment it. Too bad they had to crush the Rednecks’ momentum to get there. We then hear Grisham pissing his pants as to the fact that SD is here, and we cut to the parking lot where we see JBL’s limo pull out with all of Team SD along with Teddy Long stepping out. Grisham asks him why he’s here, and Batista (who stole the mike from Long) says if the Raw guys got the guts, then they can step out here. Bischoff tries to stop Team Raw, but they seem content to start a fight. Shawn Michaels then says “Have no fear, GM. Team Raw is on the way.” And that, my friends, is why Shawn Michaels rules. Bischoff screams at them to stop and come back, but it’s obviously not working. With the sight of Team Raw leaving, it’s a good time to go to commercial.
Commercial break times one equals a pretty solid opener all things considered.
Back from break, Team SD is pumping themselves up waiting for Team Raw to show up. We then see Shawn Michaels leading the team out to the parking lot while stripping. It’s the best of both worlds for the genders. Females see him stripping and males finally see him take some leadership and action. About a foot from the parking lot, Carlito stops and asks what if it’s a trap. Gee, there must be some brain under all that hair! Apparently, HBK is counting on it and fires up the troops to go. The face-off then ensues followed by the first true Raw/SD brawl. It was absolute mayhem, highlighted by Batista throwing Kane and Big Show onto a car and through windows. HBK went after JBL and it kind of went on like that. Eventually, Masters had Mysterio in the Masterlock and we heard an immense crash. When the cameras turned around, Batista was then shown to be chokeslammed by the two former champs. Uh-oh! Security then comes out in the nick of time (like they always do) and Teddy Long screams for a doctor as it’s time for another break.
Commercial break times two equals a good brawl, but horrid use of TV time.
Grisham is in front of the camera for some god awful reason back from break and he re-caps the brawl along with him showing the car window that Batista was slammed into. Bischoff then rolls out and says that this is what happens when you mess with Raw. Funny, I thought that’s what happened when your champion tore his back and you need a storyline to explain it. Anyway, relief comes in the form of Ric Flair’s music as England’s pumped up crowd stands in awe of the true Nature Boy. Side note: Flair really needs to drop the Intercontinental title. If they aren’t going to make the feud that Flair is in have the title play some point, it has no reason to rest on Flair’s waist. I can think of a dozen people who could benefit from having it as well. Gregory Helms, Shelton Benjamin, Chris Masters, Val Venis, Rob Conway, et cetera. Murdoch then makes his way out and one of the most anticipated Raw matches in a while goes down.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Ric Flair Vs. Trevor Murdoch
This was just a fun throwback match to wrestling’s yesteryear. Murdoch embody that of the old Murdoch and Flair was just, well, Flair! There wasn’t really much to this match, but then again, I have seen some very good matches that were basically headlocks and leg scissors with a finishing move in the end. I’ll tell you though; Murdoch did a hell of a job impressing me. Since his first tag match, it wasn’t hard for me to see that Cade was carrying the team in terms of workrate and Murdoch would take up the gimmick portion. However, since then, he has really blossomed, or maybe adapted is a better word to use. Either way, Murdoch has come a ways, which might spell the end for Lance Cade as he’s already been sent back down to OVW once. Back to the match, like I said, it was just a throwback match with a lot of basic stuff you’d see in stuff from the 70s or 80s. Murdoch exposed his knee to heighten the impact, Flair moved and exposed, Flair moved in on it, Flair chops, Murdoch taunts, et cetera. It was pretty predictable, but also fun and very well put together if that makes any sense. In the end, Flair rolled up Murdoch for an easy win, but still felt the need to hook the tights and prove why he is still the dirtiest player in the game, baby!
Winner: Ric Flair
Star Wrestler: Trevor Murdoch
It’s no doubt that Ric Flair is Murdoch’s superior in wrestling skill all around, but here at “Squared Circle Reviews,” we will hand this nod out for just more than pure skill. As you’ve seen time and time again, pure amazement and the ability to surprise me with your efforts will get you this nod. For instance, if Gene Snitsky went out there today and wrestled Shawn Michaels, yet modeled himself almost one hundred percent like Bam Bam Bigelow, Michaels would still be his superior, but Snitsky would definitely get the nod on true surprise. As it is, Murdoch really caught me off guard and I’m glad to say it: I was wrong about him. Let’s hope now that WWE does something with him to showcase that talent.
Murdoch then makes his way out crying while Flair poses in the crowd. Triple H then comes on the screen and says that win proved nothing, but just bought himself time as he’s going to finish what he started. He says this Sunday will not be about winning or losing, but surviving. God, they say that every time there is a stipulation or gimmick match. He then reminds Flair of him saying that he’d beat the Game if it was the last thing he’d do. Triple H then says he’ll make that true this Sunday and we go off the air again.
Commercial break times three equals good match and promo, albeit both were very predictable.