Re: WWE 2005: Raising the Bar.
So, straight away I'm gonna point out the fact that you're characterization of Tazz was pretty spot on for the intros part. Just something I noticed, and it's nice to see you've been making an effort to improve on that. Nothing wrong with kicking off the show with Angle, especially given the legit grievance he has with Cena. Angle was pretty good throughout, you certainly got across that level of intensity he's well known for. Perhaps you've kinda given away the outcome of the title match tonight though, as the chat here very much suggested a Cena/Angle program for the title, but that's only a small issue. Apart from that everything was fine and this was a pretty solid way to kick off the show, although with Cena not coming out to respond to Angle's words, I'm pretty sure we'll need to hear from him later in the show to address the situation with Kurt.
Good choice to kick off the in-ring action with the cruisers, and it certainly was a fast paced read, with plenty of high spots. One thing I wasn't sure about was that transition from the reverse DDT into the backbreaker just before the finish. That was pretty hard to imagine in my head. London retains is a pretty logical choice, as you seem destined for some kind of Helms/Chavo situation, and I don't think we quite need the title involved in that yet, although you could always add London into the mix further down the line. As for Chavo, I liked that little touch afterwards with him watching on. These little backstage moments are something I'm always a fan of myself. No real complaints here, it all seemed logical and was an enjoyable read.
Just a quick note here, but Josh was really rather robotic almost. Need a little work on him, although I realise he's not got much in the way of a personality irl, try give him a bit more flow to his words when you use him. As for JBL, that was much better, and in typical Layfield fashion he had a good moan about a range of subjects. I liked that we heard what JBL had to say about Angle, and again it's a pretty legit claim he had over Cena's actions towards him. For what it was this wasn't bad at all, I'm glad we got to hear from JBL and he touched on a range of subjects that needed to be dealt with. And perhaps the mention of Matt is a prelude to a future encounter between the two?
Another pretty good match between MNM and Van Dam/Mysterio. I wasn't all that sold on Van Dam and Mysterio winning the gold, but you worked hard with this match to get across that real sense of injustice at MNM's actions, and in particular Melina, as that crotch shot at the end was really vicious. And of course, with the numbers game taking out Rey, logical that it would play into things again with regards to the finish. The words from Cole after the match and suggest there will be a rematch down the line, and I've got no complaints with that, as I'm on board with a Mysterio/Van Dam title run after this if that's the way you choose to go.
Smart that you would have this promo straight away, it would have certainly had the emotion and sense of injustice running high in Van Dam and Mysterio when it took place. The challenge of no Melina is very interesting, and certainly makes sense, but I dunno why Mercury and Nitro would simply agree to it. Perhaps you'll think of a way for Van Dam and Mysterio to earn their clean shot? Or maybe bring in another diva as an equalizer? Anyway, the match and this interview have really pushed this feud on a notch, and I'm up for seeing Mysterio and Van Dam finally getting their hands on the gold come The Bash.
This is such an intriguing situation you've built between Rhyno and Booker. Obviously the way it started with them both wanting a piece of Carlito wasn nothing spectacular, but the way it's progressed has been handled very well. I fully expect one to now turn on the other, with Carlito looking like an uber heel by managing to weasel his way out of the beating he deserves. So yeah, props for the way you've developed this storyline over the weeks. As for this match, nice little touch to have the two shake hands at the start of the match, showing a level of respect between the two. Constrast this with the way you had them reluctantly shake hands at the end, and this match really carried the feud on. Loved how cool and cocky Carlito was with the apple, although I'm gonna go out on a limb and say next week someone is turning. I don't think it will be Booker, as I still see him going after Carlito, but I dunno how it would play out. So really well done here, I'm hooked into the No DQ match next week based off the back of this. Really strong stuff, smart booking and storyline progression.
And finally we hear from Cena. You touched all the bases here, with the chat moving from Orton to Angle to JBL. Couple of spelling mistakes stood out here though, take a bit more care with that. Again, this interview was exactly spectacular, but it certainly did it's job of emphasising the level of competition surrounding Cena right now. Fully expecting him to retain tonight, but it's clear he's got Angle on the horizon.
Ha! Brilliant. Such a traditional heel thing to do, but it worked perfectly for Orlando to attack before the bell, especially after what JBL said regarding the situation earlier. Not a whole lot to say other than I thought this worked well for the situation. Fully expecting a rematch for The Bash, but for tonight Jordan really looked like such a strong heel.
Huh, Dupree and Suzuki attack Lashley? Perhaps I missed the motive for this, as I don't really understand why it's happening. Maybe Cole and Tazz could have quickly filled us in on any past encounters between the two?
Interesting that you had Teddy admit that he's pretty much lost control of his own show, although I'm sure next week the repercussions will start. Was pretty short, but the pep talk for Orton and Cena seemed to be OK. I wasn't really sure if this was necessary tbh, although I'll need to wait to see next week how you carry on with this.
Wow, pretty chaotic main event. Perhaps you could have let the match go longer than 9.13 though, that seemed awful short for a main event on such a night as this. The actual action in the match seemed fine, but of course the real talking point stems from the run ins. Surprised that it was Angle and JBL at the same time tbh, as that gives the impression they were working in cahoots when earlier both men had something to say regarding the other. Orton taking the fight to Angle was a pleasant surprise, and is this perhaps the start of a slow face turn for Orton? I dunno, but the fact he had his head taken off his shoulders by JBL certainly points that way. Loved that after storming the ring together Angle turned around and took down JBL, that was pretty sweet. I really wonder where this is gonna lead tbh, perhaps a fatal four way at The Bash and then Cena/Angle and JBL/Orton at Summerslam? Who knows, but like much of this show, you've certainly added a lot of intrigue and guessing to how certain storylines are gonna progress, so credit for that once again.
Overall, another really solid show. Everything progressed really nicely, with a ton of storyline development throughout. One thing I'll point out though is that I'm surprised there wasn't a single title change during a 'Night of Champions' special. Granted everything from a storyline perspective made sense for the champs to retain, the fact that it looks like we'll be getting a few rematches in some shape or form at The Bash kinda makes the whole idea redundant. The actual content of this show as a one of was fine, but perhaps it didn't exactly fit in with the long term picture of things. But I'll certainly retain judgement on that until I see how you carry things on next week. But yeah, for tonight, no real complaints and it was an enjoyable show. Keep it up.