Taken quite a while to get around to it, but I’ve been working on it bit by bit.
Opening promos are one of my favourite things (at least they used to be in years gone by) about PPV events, and I’d go as far as to say, this one is my favourite to read in all my time in BTB. Very poignant imo, and sets the stage perfectly for ‘the backlash’ of WrestleMania.
Second Raw PPV of 2006. Don’t be forgetting the unforgettable NYR.
Oh hells yeah. IC title to kick this shindig off with a bang. Was worried you might swerve us and not kick off with this match, but I’m glad you made the right call. Been looking forward to seeing Benjamin and Haas tear it up, and with only six matches on the card, there should be no excuses for cutting this one short.
Over the last few weeks, you’ve made huge strides with Haas, making him a helluva lot more than Shelton Benjamins other half. I could easily imagine a lot of the fans being torn between the two here.
Starts off in a sporting fashion, but I’m overwhelmed by the incredible detail you’ve put in, just describing the circling of the ring by the two men. Early dominance from Haas on the mat looked to frustrate Benjamin of all people, who resorts to using the elbow. Had it pencilled for Haas to end up getting frustrated early on, but you continue to surprise with this friendly feud, which gets a little down and dirty as Benjamin breaks away from the wrestling aspect. Still though, Haas appears to be a step ahead of his counterpart, even with things breaking down, and the friendship quickly going out the window.
Completely surprised with the intensity shown already, with both men straying from what brought them to the dance, and going at it with a brawl. Oh boy, trash talking too?? I’m loving this now. Titles > Friendship. Haas continues to hold the keys, dominating his partner. Jesus - a head butt?? Where these two EVER friends?? Incredible turn of events, putting over just how much Haas wants the belt. It’s also starting to become more clear (at least to me) that Benjamin is being positioned as the face for the long run. He’s the one pulling off flashy moves, getting crowd pops, thanks to his athleticism, although the little bit of trash talk ‘It’s all worth it bro’ kept him with some attitude.
Now, things seem to be breaking down ever so much, with an array of near falls for both men, busting out power moves. Nice to see the tradition of the triple Germans living on in this thread, through Benjamin (although we do still have Angle), but Haas isn’t so keen, and turns it around, outgunning Benjo with three of the best, and the crowd reactions to that are simply stunning. From heat, to counting along. Fickle bunch.
Get the feeling we’re about to enter the final stages, with the first real attempt at a finish from Haas, but a nice counter from Benjamin puts a stop to it, and eventually sets Shelton up to take over, use his athletic ability, and debuts a new armbar submission. Terrific use of description to show the pain Haas went through, and yet again, another great example of how athletic the two men are, with Charlie reversing the seemingly unbreakable submission into his own, much more recognisable submission hold, only for Benjamin to counter that into a near fall. Terrific sequence right there.
The Haas frustration must continue to grow, following that last ditch kick out from Shelton off the Total Haastility, and the counter out of the Haas of Pain into the Seated Armbar. Just everything he does to win, Benjamin seems to have an answer for. Despite being able to counter the armbar, it’s everything that Benjamin does that earns the cheers of the fans - although personally, I’d be on Haas’ side after the turnbuckle bomb. Shocked that the champion survived that, twinned with a super kick, and countered himself for the win. Awesome opener. ****. We’ll be clamouring for the rematch now, and I expect it to be even better next time, with Haas THAT much more determined to take the title. Cant wait for it.
Should be interesting to see how this match affects the tag title match later, as it seems Haas now has his mind already on that, asking how Benjamin is doing. Surely, he must still be harbouring some sort of grudge…
Prediction scale; 2 for 2. Benjamin to win, and this to open.
Bitchy Trish Stratus ftw. So sexy in that phase. Anyway, I’m more curious here about the whereabouts now of Maria. Is she just being given time off after whatever it was that went down on Raw?? Or is she still MIA??
I certainly wouldn’t envy Carlito and Helms to have to follow that opener. Should still be decent though. Wise to go for the jugular from the get go. I don’t think the fans would be patient enough for these two to just slip into gear over time. All Helms in the early going, taking it to CCC, outmanoeuvring him at every step - whilst wearing his coat!!! Seems to me that he should’ve kept it on, as once it came off, it was downhill. Y’know, the more I see Masters as a cheerleader for CCC, the more I’m thinking he has an agenda to get a chance at the MITB contract.
Nice shift from high flying, quick paced offence to more methodical attacks from Carlito, keeping it simple, but effective, going to the midsection of Helms. The challenger has been softened up, and it allows Carlito to dominate, nicely putting together short lived bursts from Helms, only to be slowed down by CCC each time, even after the sleeper went wrong for the holder.
Loved the crowd pleasing top rope crotch job. When it happens to someone with comedic ability like Carlito, it tends to go down better, given the type of facials he has to sell that type of move. More high flying with the Hurricanrana - would’ve personally preferred the awesome top swinging rope neck breaker Helms has used from time to time (KOTR 2002).
The comeback is most definitely on for Helms, now, although I had a hard time following the ‘inverted unprettier’ move. Was that the vertebreaker?? Hope not, as that should NEVER be kicked out of. Just plain sick. Helms throws away his advantage, but grabs it back with an excellent little counter to the Back stabber, and segues into another brief LOL moment, with the crotch butt.
Totally expected the shady finish once Masters got involved, but Helms brilliantly avoided the knucks, and delivered a Shining Wizard, but thanks to ‘Piece, this one is still ongoing. Ref bump?? Wouldn’t have expected that in this match, but it opens the door for Masters to get involved once again after the NOHS, but the fight of Helms surprised me greatly, taking out Masters … but getting nailed by the case, and finished by the Back stabber.
Would’ve much preferred a clean win for Carlito to move on, and up, but he will definitely have at least one more showdown with Helms in the coming weeks to draw a line under this feud. Meanwhile, it‘s a tough break for Helms … AGAIN. ***. Good, solid match up.
3 for 4 on the predictions front.
“The Showdown in Motown” - incredible tag line.
Frenzied opening, carrying over the anger of Stratus having been unable to get her hands on Mickie. I assume Victorias involvement in this was purely designed to just keep the inevitable Mickie vs. Trish showdown for later down the road. As far as I was concerned, this was always going to be a case of Trish or Mickie to win, despite the awesomeness of Vickie. And, I’ve got to say, Vickie was put over really well as a threat throughout - a HUGE threat, probably outperforming her two opponents -, not coming across as the filler I’m certain she was designed to be.
LMAO at the cycle of slaps. *Notes it down for future reference*, inventive, innovative stuff, that would undoubtedly be getting massive reactions from the fans in attendance. Excellent little spot to add some fun, yet keep the aggressive nature of the match going. Action just hasn’t let up, even when it briefly came down to the one on one scenarios, as the third person was always quickly coming back into contention, very fast paced, making for an exciting match - certainly not the ‘toilet break’ that many label the womens matches.
‘Argentine Backbreaker Rack Drop’ - show off
. Again, such a fast paced array of action; loved this little sequence-
Quickly, Mickie wraps her arm around Trish’s head, letting out a wild SCREAM, GOING FOR THE MICKIE-DT -- but Trish spins out of it, DUCKS A MICKIE CLOTHESLINE, runs, hits the ropes, CUTTING MICKIE IN HALF WITH HER VARIATION OF A SPEAR!!! Trish pops right back up to her feet – SUPERKICK FROM VICTORIA TAKES HER HEAD OFF -- MICKIE COMES OFF THE SECOND ROPE WITH A DIVING CROSSBODY ONTO VICKIE, COMPLETELY NO-SELLING THE SPEAR AND ALL THREE WOMEN ARE DOWN!!! Forgetting the stipulations like they always do, the official begins the count…
I love this cycle of offence cropping up again, adds a little bit of fun to proceedings in a way, yet it keeps in with the tenacity of the contest. Just as it looked like Mickie was about to have it won, Victoria snuffs the Mickie-T.
Jesus H Christ- incredible little sequence with the Alley Oop, and the mid air Chick Kick. Off the charts insane. Shocked that Mickie was able to counter Victoria so soon after that too - disappointed actually if I’m honest. Should’ve sold that Chick Kick for much longer imo. Widows Peak HAS GOT to end it for Mickie now … but the triple threat rules saved her. Surely down to Victoria and Trish now. :O
Mickie stole it?? Oh boy, just when I thought Trish had the match wrapped up too, gutting finish for the long time champion. I said earlier that Victoria was in this mainly to stop the inevitable James / Stratus showdown from happening just yet, but her performance was terrific. Still, the long term feud is Trish and Mickie, and I suspect we’ll eventually see Victoria eased out of the equation. ****. Awesome female match up, that’s unlikely to get the plaudits it deserves.
At least the involvement of Estrada made this promo worthwhile. Just cant accept the Spirit Squad whatsoever. Hopefully Estrada was hinting that if they fail to win, they’re fucked … preferably by Umaga
Heh, this is more like it. Best showing of tension between Benjamin and Haas yet - the last comment from both men tipped this one over the edge. The break up doesn’t seem so obvious to go down now, and I think you’ll be holding off for another short period at least. Just doesn’t seem like the right time to pull the trigger all of a sudden.
Looks like someone’s got a case of the liver tale.
Think it’s limber tale.
The DQ finish was odd, but quickly cleared up. Loving The Coach doing the donkey work for Bischoff too. LMAO- only the Spirit Squad would think of using a trampoline in a No DQ match. This is going to be an extremely rough night for the champions, especially if it’s Haas that will be doing most of the donkey work, given the condition of Benjamin.
Spirit Squad are almost literally throwing the kitchen sink at Haas, but to his credit, Haas has been phenomenal thus far in surviving the onslaught - surprisingly so, especially with Benjamin acting as more of a hindrance than a help, spending most of his time trying to recover, then immediately trying to jump in, giving the Squad an easy opening to kick the crap outta Haas.
Even as it looks like he’s found an opening, Haas is cut off by another cheerleader, following his break of the count. Lots of alley-oops. Too many. And again, Haas just CANT make that vital tag, despite his tremendous fighting spirit. The hot tag was building and building, and finally you pulled the trigger, and I could imagine the reaction in the arena for that one, as the suspense for it built to a fitting climax, as the German sounded EPIC.
Benjamin does the routine hot face antics of cleaning house with his incredible athleticism, topped off with a ‘anything you can do, I can do better’ fuck you to Haas with an EPIC T-Bone from the top. I doubt it was intended that way, but I want to drive the wedge further between them
. The fans would be most certainly going batshit for Shelton at this point, and Haas getting a few moments to recuperate before helping out as the numbers just about looked to be gaining on Benjamin was perfectly timed.
It’s all going wrong now for the cheerleaders. Fucked up chair shot, and the super kick into the chair sees another two down … and it leaves Kenny … who doesn’t seem so cocky now. **1/2. Fairly run of the mill tag match, but had a nice build up to the hot tag, and a good ‘payback’ finish, with everything falling apart at the seams for the challengers, and the WGTT retaining the belts … and seemingly on the same page …
Hold it, doesn’t look like we’re going to find out just yet … it’s ESTRADAAAAAAA TIME!!!
Sons of Samoa??? Obviously one is Umaga … who is the other?? Manu?? Although Manu certainly wouldn’t be a 400 pounder?? Rikishi with face paint
. Regardless … Haas and Benjamin just got fucked up. Interesting, unique debut for Umaga, the first time I think I’ve seen the character brought in for a tag team. I think it was put best on commentary; one of the most impactful debuts you’ll ever witness.
Cant imagine Bischoff will be too pleased that the Spirit Squad are leaving him high and dry, after everything he’s done to help them in the last few months. Trouble ahead for them if you ask me.
The transformation of The Big Show in the last six weeks has been nothing short of incredible. With Paul Bearer by his side, he’s become a scary fucker, and he’s not just making empty threats … he’s going through with it.
This one certainly has the big match feel to it. The big entrances, the descriptions, and even the small detail of RVD climbing into the cage. Has a special feel attached. Big stakes. Makes sense for RVD to be the aggressor, Big Show doesn’t need to come out of the blocks roaring, as he’s going to have all the advantages anyway. No surprise that the attempted Irish whip didn’t work out. Seemed a little odd for Show to try and call it off so soon, as he had really absorbed too much damage, but it was obvious that RVD wasn’t going to just let it happen. The use of the wrist tape was a nice addition, choking out Show with everything he’s got.
Despite being significantly weakened, Show proves to be just too strong still for his much smaller opponent to mash his face into steel. RVD though is literally on fire - and rightly so - with his career at stake. And that, is something you’ve worked well in this early going, as it clearly comes across that this is more than a grudge match; the fight in RVD is that of a man that is fighting for his life. Brilliantly pitched offence from a desperate man.
Yet still, he cant overpower the dazed giant. Every time he’s tried to inflict serious damage, he’s been overpowered, and the second attempt at the cage looks like it could seriously backfire for RVD. And with Big Show dominating, the next portion of the match was tricky to read through. As you put it; slow, methodical, and just how Show would want it. Despite it making sense, it’s also really boring to read, so I honestly just glanced through for a bit, whilst Show dominated completely. With the surroundings of a cage too, it makes it that much harder to keep the action exciting with the big man in charge, as the area is pretty much a closed shop. The offence though was spot on from Show, targeting the ribs, methodically picking the smaller man apart.
Over that little hump, you picked it up a little with RVD doing his damndest to prevent Show from walking out, and from there, it was nice to see the cage actually becoming a factor, with RVD becoming a crash test dummy for Show to throw around into the mesh. Naturally, he still wont give up, grabbing the leg again … but it all appears to be only adding to his plight, as the wrappings come away from the ribs.
Smart tactics from Show too, choking RVD with the bandages, then tying him up, and I gotta love Coaches love for Show; Ingenious
. STILL Van Dam wont be stopped, and AGAIN stops Show. Marking out for the desperation of Bearer, trying to drag Show out. The worm has turned, and it’s RVD back to the boil, with a sensational kick from the top, sending Shows skull into the steel … and finally manages to slam his head into it too!!! Absolutely loving the comeback from RVD, written superbly imo, with Show finally taking punishment.
OH JESUS!!! Unreal Chokeslam. Just when it seemed like RVD had Show on the brink, the match literally turns on it’s head.
I see what you’re doing there … getting a chair conveniently into the ring … wonder what that’s for?? Hmm…
Burlap sack makes an appearance … but what the hell is in it?? Must be something hard anyway. Regardless, RVD is still refusing to give in. You do love that alley-oop don’t ya??
. Just as it was starting to get a little repetitive, the mysterious chair finally makes an impact, and who better to use it that the master of assisted chair shots … RVD!!! VAN DAMINATOR~!!!
CARLITO??????? WHAT … THE … FUCK??? And now Masters?? What the heck is going on here????? Looks like Bischoff will go to any length to get rid of Van Dam, and it’ll do CCC and Masters no harm to help the boss. Laughed out load when Masters went to help Carlito instead of getting Show out of the ring … the price of love cannot be bought
Well, this is gonna settle it. TRIPLE H!!!
Wait just a cotton picking minute - he’s HELPING Van Dam????? Pretty good job of it too, taking out Masters, AND SENDING CARLITO OFF THE CAGE THROUGH THE TABLE!!!!!! Holy shit moment of the night, undoubtedly, and it most certainly means Triple H is off the Bischoff family Christmas card list.
Awesome moment, that’s just sent this match completely over the top.
NOOOOOOOOOOOO- he missed the five star :@. Right hand … second right hand … third right hand. Put a fork in this one … it’s done. RVD is history, and Big Show just killed him off. Unbelievable finish. ****. A true talking point match, with all sorts of carnage to give a sensational climax, which the match most definitely needed - fourth star is for the closing sequence alone.
Time for Flair. Didn’t expect to hear him retire. Thoroughly expected him to run for the Smackdown election … and I just knew there would be a twist … and the appearance of Orton provides just that. Not sure what business Orton has on a Raw show … and indeed, why has he been missing since WrestleMania?? Could’ve at least had the commentators flag up those two points during his entrance. Trying to get Flair to un-retire and attempt to hit number 17 … vicariously … through Orton?? Didn’t expect that to fly.
Some great comments from both men throughout this promo, and it sets the stage for what could most definitely be a long running chase for Orton to get Flair back in the ring. Dying to see how you approach it, as it has the makings of a spectacular angle in the long term.
Main event time bay-bay. First blood to Angle with the shoulder, but it’s destined to be a long feeling out process. Everything though, in the early going is going in favour of Angle, outmanoeuvring the ‘champ’ at every turn. Angle spitting completely caught me off guard. If I had to call either man to spit, I’d have said Cena … but Angle?? Intense. Bit of a turnaround from Cena eventually, working his way into this chess-like contest, with a knockdown of his own … and ZING - the receipt, with Cena spitting in Angles face. Personal?? Damn right. Angle responding with a slap … what a bitch, lol.
Very back and forth in these early stages, as it doesn’t seem like either guy is able to get a real foothold on, and dominate proceedings for any length of time. Some trademark offence from both men too, from the awkward Fisherman Cena possesses, to the big forearm uppercut from Angle. Nice to see it get a little more down and dirty on the outside, with Angle surprisingly being the aggressor in this instance, with the attack carrying over to the inside, and a sustained amount of offence for Angle significantly slows Cena.
As you’d expect, Cena goes back to what brung him to the dance to make his fight back, but the balance shifts back and forth a little more before Cena can really take over for a sustained period. Thus far, it’s came across as a spectacular back and forth, no quarter asked - none given affair - what a main event should be about imo.
Counter to ‘You Cant See Me’ ftw. That just about makes Angle the definite fan favourite surely
. Throughout, these two are coming off as true equals, matching one another, step for step, which is probably a better rub for Cena, being able to hang with the highly touted ‘best in the business’ at his own game. The counter from German #3 into an eventual Throwback was testament to this.
Surprised to see the flying leg drop busting out this early, as it feels like we’re still in the early stages. Given the previous meetings between them, it makes sense that they are wise to one anothers signature offence, hence the counters to the STFU and the Anklelock respectively. Took me a little by surprise that it’s Cena that ends up focusing in on a body part first, targeting the legs of the champion, and doing so with vigour, busting out a shin breaker onto steps, and then the usual off the steel post that comes with every sequence of ‘picking the body part apart’. Some real intensity shown from Cena too, setting up a few unsuccessful attempts at the STFU.
Seemed like Angle was in a real deal of trouble, so it sort of killed the assault on the legs for him to blast back out of nowhere with the German. No selling isn’t cool … well, he didn’t still favour the leg, but got off too much offence imo. Would’ve preferred to see him attempt the German, but for the leg to give out, and sell the pain a little more. The FU at this juncture also didn’t fit for me, and felt out of place. It’s gotten a little bit shaky at this stage, from the beginning of the short lived Angle fight back.
Hopefully you can get it back on track, with the fight getting back to it’s feet, and the trading blows sequence that’s become a regular staple in big Cena matches, getting the fans fully involved was a positive step to take in my book, after the last passage. No counter for the 5 Knuckle Shuffle this time.
The Olympian holds on for dear life, as Cena tries to pull him away -- ANGLE DROPS OFF THE SHOULDERS - AND GOES BEHIND!! Grabbing Cena’s arm, Angle goes underneath, LIFTING HIM UP INTO THE AIR FOR THE OLYMPIC SLAM -- BUT CENA LANDS ON HIS FEET, WRAPS HIS LEG THROUGH ANGLE’S, TRIPPING HIM DOWN, POUNCING ON HIS BACK - APPLYING THE STF-U!!!!
Awesome exchange. The type of thing I love, with big time counter, followed by bigger time counter. You most definitely captured the plight of Angle, letting us into just how much pain he was going through to survive, desperately caught in the STFU, but just surviving.
Shoe goes onto the other foot all of a sudden … and now lets see if Cena has the heart to find the ropes … methinks he does. Again, wonderful description of the pain running through the body of Cena, just like Angle, putting over his heart and will to win. My word, what a set of counters again; from Ankle lock to the FU … to the Angle slam. And it’s still not over!! Another terrific sequence - the type that has an audience going fucking nuts. Heh, strap comes down … bad place for Cena to be now.
It’s turning into a move for move conundrum now, and still, the FU isn’t enough to bring the title home to Cena. It’s going to take something unbelievably special to bring this match to a close … AND A THIRD FU STILL DOESN’T DO IT … BECAUSE SHAWN FUCKING MICHAELS IS HERE!!!!!!!
*Predicted that. Points plz
Sickening assault from Michaels that surely costs Cena - not only this match, not only the title for now, but his entire future on Raw. No titles for him again … which is a perfect set up for the ultimate chase for the belt. Cena is going to be like a dog with a bone in an attempt to fight his way out of this stipulation, and it has EPIC written all over it.
Angle wins … but the aftermath would have you thinking the only winner here was HBK himself. ****1/2. Unreal ending to a chaotic show. My one concern is the recent amount of sickening, brutal assaults. Kennedy on Matt Hardy, Bluebloods on their tag team rivals, and now this. With a rate of one per week, these assaults are going to start losing some impact imo. The less they happen, the more shocking and brutal they’ll come across in the long run. At least that’s my way of thinking. Nonetheless, spectacular job from Michaels in sending a brutal, sick message to both his rivals … but mostly Cena.
Overall, what can I say?? This was an epic PPV. Just sorry the review was such a long time in coming, but better late than never, eh?? I rambled on a little at times, and at others just relayed the show back to you, but unfortunately that's my style at times, as unhelpful as it is. Great job. At least someone else around these parts loves you