The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
As Kane once said, I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaack. And so is the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, now in NEW format. Instead of recapping every week, we’re going twice, something three times a week, covering and reviewing every WWE show. So let’s get cracking. READY? OOOOOOOH SPIRIT SQUAD!
Before I continue, allow me to explain why the change is happening. When I used to write the column on a Saturday, SmackDown! was always fresh in my mind. So that meant that RAW stuff got forgotten about and SmackDown! got all the attention. But NOT ANY MORE! Instead, it’s separate GB&Us for separate shows. But also, mainly for filler space, I’ll be going through some news items and giving them a Good, Bad or Ugly rating as well.
In fact, let’s go straight to the Newsreel straight away. Come on. Hurry up.
This news is all from the Wrestling101.com news board, which takes its news from various websites. And Devilish Angel does a good job by herself.
“WWE.com has reported that JBL suffered a broken hand with a displaced bone during Tuesday’s taping of this week’s SmackDown. He was expected to have surgery this morning.”
Followed up by:
“WWE.com is reporting that JBL’s hand surgery yesterday was successful, it is unknown for how long he will out.”
So initially my first instinct was dismay that JBL, one of my favourite wrestlers, was injured. But everything I’ve heard since then seems to suggest that JBL won’t be out for very long at all, and judging by his comments on WWE.com about Chris Benoit, he may even face Benoit at WrestleMania for the US Title. That is a good thing in my eyes. But no injury is ever good, so this gets a:
Verdict: Bad (Would have been Ugly if it kept JBL out for a long time.)
“RAW’s rating in the US this week was a 4.0 cable rating with a 5.8 share, the hours did 3.9 and 4.1 respectively. AM RAW did a 1.0 cable rating with a 2.3 share.”
That was last week’s RAW rating. It’s a lower figure than has been seen for a while, with the rating averaging around 4.2 for January and early February. Is it because Cena is champion? Is it because Vince is on TV? Is it because the Spirit Squad get confined to WWE Unlimited and everyone watches that? Who knows. But anything in the 4.0 region is pretty good, and is still 4 times better than, say, Impact. But as the rating was a drop, this is a…
“Pro Wrestling Insider is reporting that Stacy Keibler’s WWE future is very cloudy, it is rumoured that when her contract runs out in the next few months, she will be done with the wrestling business.”
I have conflicting feelings about this. Firstly, Stacy has done very little other than be eye candy for a long time. Aside from the Test stuff and a few weeks with Randy Orton she’s not even had a proper storyline. So will she be missed for what she offers to the product? Absolutely not. But will the publicity she brings in following her third place in Dancing with the Stars be missed? Absolutely yes. If Stacy returns to the WWE for the remainder of her contract, which I myself doubt, she will bring in some publicity for WrestleMania. Give her a quick storyline, have her at WrestleMania, and the publicity transfers into ratings and PPV buys. I really am split as to whether Stacy leaving is good or bad. If you really want, you could e-mail me to tell me what you think.
But you won’t, so I’ll say it:
Verdict: Good and Bad
“WWE.com has also announced that The Dicks were released yesterday. They had debuted last October as comedy tag team.”
The Tolands were a good team in OVW, but everyone knew as soon as they got their gimmick that they wouldn’t go very far. If the roster cuts are starting I’d rather they gave the Tolands the opportunity to start afresh somewhere else rather than stay around the WWE.
“It has been reported that within the last week a decision was made not to induct Dusty Rhodes into the WWE Hall of Fame this year, but Arn Anderson, Tony Atlas, and Sherri Martel have all been mentioned as possible inductees. Of course if Sherri Martel is inducted she would be the second female Hall of Famer (The Fabulous Moolah was inducted in 1995).”
Arn Anderson? I’m THERE. But on the Dusty subject, I can understand why they’re delaying him. Bret and Eddie are both HUGE names to induct, and Dusty’s legendary enough to warrant not being third banana to people. Save Dusty for next year, get some other guys in with Bret and Eddie, and make a big fuss of Dusty when his time comes.
So a mixed week for the WWE news-wise, but now it’s time to dissect last night’s RAW into tiny little pieces and serve them up. A bit like tapas.
February 27th, 2006
The first thing I noticed about this segment was the complete lack of crowd emotion. And that continued through the night. Whether or not they were exhausted after the SD taping or because they were just being awkward we’ll never know. So yeah, no heat throughout the entire segment despite what I thought was some good promo work from both guys. I’m glad they decided to go ahead with a hardcore match rather than a normal wrestling match. Not only will it put Edge over more for beating Mick at his own game, but I don’t really trust Mick to deliver the goods in a wrestling match. His outing against Carlito at Taboo Tuesday is my main reference point. But a good start to the show, with some good mic skills, a match announcement, and a cheap pop all in one.
WWE Tag Team Titles Match
Kane and Big Show © vs. V-Squared
I’m a big fan of Val Venis and Viscera, so I was glad that they got their title shots at last. I say “at last” because they actually won their opportunity three weeks ago on Heat, and I was fairly sure they’d been forgotten. But as the only Tag Team left on RAW, I don’t know how they could be. The match itself I found pretty good considering that when you look at Kane, Show and Viscera you don’t automatically say “wrestling classic”. But for what it was done for, it was a good little contest. I loved Val’s poke to the eye after he couldn’t knock Kane down, and Show slamming Viscera was a great moment. I was a little disappointed at the result, I can’t help feeling that someone running out to attack Kane/Show to start a WM feud and give the titles to a proper tag team would’ve been the more productive outcome.
Ric Flair Interview
No offence to Ric Flair and to his awesome legacy, but I really do hope he doesn’t get another World Title run. It’s not because he’s 57. It’s not because he can’t wrestle, because he can. It’s not because he’ll win the title and say “this is for Hunter”. It’s because if Flair becomes a 17 times champion, it will mean HHH has to be an 18 time champion. It’s simple mathematics.
Wow, when Marty got the call to come back to the WWE, I wonder if he knew just how much he was going to have to bury himself. Homeless? Unemployed? I can understand them hyping up some kind of non-existent fact about Jannetty needing the job to survive to give him a reason to kiss Vince’s ass, but poor Marty doesn’t deserve to be treated like a tramp. Just think, a year ago this week he was fighting Kurt Angle in an awesome SmackDown! match.
Carlito in the Bank
Ah, Carlito rules. Ever since he got back from injury he has steadily grown on me, and with his recently improved ring-work and a complete nailing of his character, he’s become one of my favourites. Another Money in the Bank match sits well with me, but I worry about the lack of RAW people who can do the match. RVD, Shelton and Carlito will be good, but Flair? Masters? A.N. Other? I can’t see what else they can bring to the table to deliver a good match.
Money in the Bank Qualifier
Trevor F’n Murdoch vs. Rob Van F’n Dam
Nice to see Murdoch on RAW, and nice to see him have some good chemistry with RVD. Of course, it was no surprise to see RVD shunted right back to the midcard following being Pedigreed last week. Gotta keep that top spot for the same guy. I’m surprised at how much offence Murdoch got in, but at the same time, RVD’s one of those guys who actually has the moves to make a comeback seem believable, like HBK. So a good little match all in all, made a bit more special by the MITB stipulation. But I would’ve paid to see Murdoch in a ladder match.
WWE Women’s Title Match
Trish Stratus © vs. Candice Michelle
Well after this match was over I thanked any God I could think of that Candice didn’t win the title. I had horrible thoughts of Candice winning the title as a plug for Playboy. Thankfully common sense prevailed, and it looks like Trish v Mickie is still on for WM22, which can only be a good thing. However, I don’t like all this lesbian stuff being brought in, it was fine without it. Oh yeah, and despite Trish’s best efforts, the match was dreadful.
John Cena/HHH segment
Oh. My. God. Maybe it’s because I don’t like either of them, maybe it’s because I’ve heard it all before, or maybe it’s both of those things, but this segment bored me to tears. We had Cena being booed and Lawler trying to cover it up as Coach getting them. Then we had HHH getting a face reaction purely because he was insulting Cena, so he turned it into a face promo, which made absolutely no sense. And THEN Cena starts burying himself, saying how he’s NOT the best wrestler and NOT the most popular, which immediately made me wonder why on earth he’s the champion. Then Cena started doing something involving facts, but by that point I had completely zoned out. Not even the announcement of what should be an interesting match at Saturday Night’s Main Event between HHH/Cena and Rey/Orton/WHC (most likely Angle) could save this from being Ugly.
Money in the Bank Qualifier
Shelton Benjamin vs. Chavo Guerrero
My first impression of this match was “can’t both of them be in it?”. And I wish they both were, because I feel Chavo has a lot more to add to the match than anyone else left who could qualify. But alas, Chavo looks like he’s not going to be in it. The match was going pretty well before the abrupt ending, although I did like the use of Orton. However, it did seem to me like Orton gets the last laugh and its done with, which is a shame. Of course, because it was a supershow, nobody popped for Orton because they’d already seen him. The Suplex reversal into a DDT was probably the spot of the night.
Mean Gene Okerlund to be inducted
What a great choice. Mean Gene’s one of those guys that gets ignored far too much considering his great contribution to the WWE and WCW. He will pretty much go down in history as the quintessential backstage interviewer. Of course, Coach’s “first announcer in the Hall of Fame” comment was completely wrong. Gorilla Monsoon, Jesse Ventura and Bobby Heenan are already there.
Vince warms up his ass
Oh it’s just getting started. The comparison between Bush and Chirac and McMahon and Jannetty was just bizarre. As is Vince’s fixation with people kissing his posterior. I won’t give it the full negative purely because it wasn’t on for very long.
Money in the Bank Qualifier
Carlito vs. Ric Flair
According to Dave Meltzer, Ric Flair is terrible at the moment. But unlike so many other internet fans, I have a brain of my own, and I judge Flair to be perfectly fine at the moment, as he proved in this match. Carlito and Flair have a certain chemistry together that will never reach amazing match standards, but works perfectly well for a 5-10 minute TV match. The ending was quite odd however, not only in the rather cheap way of ending a match, but also because Carlito not being in his own match is just bizarre. Which is why he will end up in the match next week on RAW.
Shawn Michaels kisses Vince McMahon’s ass
And here it is. You knew it was coming. And boy was it amazing. Yes, it’s the SPIRIT SQUAD! OK, so their routines aren’t in sync, but nobody’s perfect. And there go the Spirit Squad. And here comes the downward spiral. So Marty Jannetty doesn’t get a pop. Chris Masters doesn’t get a pop. Shawn Michaels barely does. Shane McMahon doesn’t. Vince’s match announcements didn’t. But SPIRIT SQUAD DID. This crowd knows the score when it wants to. Oh yeah, the ass-kissing. This wasted fifteen minutes of my life. A brief segment may have scraped a bad rating, but fifteen minutes, ten of which Vince’s ass was on display, was not a good thing. I don’t know why he booked it, I don’t know why he thinks it’s popular, and I don’t know what he was trying to achieve. Of the two matches announced, the Street Fight sounded just about good, the Vince/Shawn match I am not looking forward to. And where DID Jannetty go after Michaels saved him? The only good thing about this segment post-Spirit Squad was Shane’s chairshot. Man that was hard.
Verdict: Ugly. Very Ugly.
So, overall we have:
Ugly: 2 (x2 = 4)
So that puts the show right in the middle. And that’s a completely fair assessment. There were a lot of things I voted “good”, but those things didn’t stand out as being amazing or anything better than ‘good’. The ugly stuff really did put a bad spin on the show, purely because they were the two biggest hyped and theoretically the two most “Important” things on the show.
So that was the first edition of the NEW FORMAT Good, Bad and Ugly. Got an opinion on anything? Let me know right here:
And I will see you later this week for SmackDown!.