Hey Yo. Tons of stuff to get to today, so let’s get this show on the road.
WWE aired the last edition of RAW on Monday before the second RAW brand only PPV in Unforgiven. Overall, the show was the usual mix of bad and good, with not so much wrestling involved, but on the other hand a lot of time given to hype up Unforgiven and push all the storylines for the event forward. Another highlight on the program was the long-awaited return of the one and only Lita. RAW’s rating is in and the show scored a 3.7 rating, up from last week’s 3.6.
Here’s the finalized card for WWE Unforgiven:
– Triple H (c) vs. Bill Goldberg — World Championship vs. Career match
– Christian (c) vs. RVD vs. Chris Jericho — Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat match
– Shane McMahon vs. Kane — Last Man Standing match
– Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton
– The Dudley Boyz vs. La Resistance and Rob Conway — Six Men Tables Match
– Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler vs. The Coach and Al Snow — RAW Announcers Match
– Test vs. Scott Steiner — Stacy’s vs. Scott’s Services match
– Trish Stratus and Lita vs. Molly Holly and Gail Kim
I would also guess that there’ll be a Sunday Night Heat bout added to this card, probably involving Lance Storm and Goldust, or Rodney Mack and Mark Henry, or even Hurricane and Rosey.
Triple H’s party for Goldberg was rather a waste of time in my opinion. They could have done more to hype the match on the last night before the PPV, but then again it’s not like they didn’t do anything either, as they constantly hyped Unforgiven throughout the show. I must say that I enjoyed the “Believe the Hype” packages they aired on Goldberg, but I felt they came through a bit late. I also noticed, like many others, that they were mostly from Goldberg’s WCW days when his character was actually working. I still think it was a great move, I just couldn’t understand why WWE put the match with The Rock on there when you could clearly hear the people booing Goldberg. I would have rather put Big Bill’s Spear through the barricade on Rosey on RAW not that long ago. At any rate, Triple H’s blabbing didn’t do much for their feud, but I did have a great laugh over the mic problems. That was classic. I will be fair and note that by having the beat down happen last week there wasn’t much they could do this week, and Goldberg coming out for a quick altercation wasn’t that bad. The problem here was really last week’s beating that lead to all this. They basically went through the last/first part of the Goldberg cycle (which is… Build him up, push him, bury him, build him up.)
I enjoyed RVD vs. Y2J but they seemed to make a lot of small mistakes that were a bit irritating throughout the bout. I still think it was the match of the night. I don’t enjoy seeing Christian and Jericho being made to look like idiots because both men deserve much better. I think we’re headed for a Y2J title run, or an RVD win, but if that doesn’t happen, I can still see Y2J and RVD feuding in the near future. They’re just a great pair and WWE should have ran that match at SummerSlam, leaving Kane and Shane to fight it out, but that’s asking too much.
Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton have crossed paths only a few times in their feud. That has kind of pushed them back a bit, to be honest. I think they deserved more TV time than that, but WWE is more focused on Orton instead of the feud itself. I thought the backstage segment with the two was done very well and it did help the build up for this Sunday. Most of the stuff WWE did on RAW was well thought-out as far as hyping Unforgiven goes, and I’ll give them that. It was also nice to see Moolah back one last time. If you haven’t heard, Vince McMahon came out in the arena after the show went off the air and followed by Steve Austin and other superstars, they threw her a party for her 80th birthday. She truly is one of wrestling’s legends.
OK, don’t bitch, Shane HAD to get something in on Kane before getting destroyed Sunday. Yes, RVD who is a regular wrestler gets buried by Kane, but Shane’O Mac can beat Kane up just because he’s a McMahon. I’ve heard that I don’t know how many times now. Quite frankly, I just ignore it now. When I had to bitch I did it and that was before SummerSlam. They absolutely and completely messed up on who should fight Kane when and as a result we ended up with a buried RVD, a stupid-not-dying Kane, and Shane’O Mac rebelling without a cause. It’s already happened, from here all we can do is just chant for the high spots, like on RAW. I enjoy it, I don’t know where you stand. (You can let me know at email@example.com for free or at 1-800-4TBLAIR, 99 cents per call. I kid, I kid.)
The courage Spike has and his love for what he does is beyond me. I’ve always been in awe of Spike for the love of the business he possesses. Too bad that don’t mean jack on RAW nowadays, as Spike’s most notable lost on the show was against Triple H, who defeated him with a sleeper. At any rate, I’m glad to see Spike feeling better, and I hope his neck and back are doing good enough for him to be at 100% for Unforgiven. I have supported La Resistance before (there’s something about them which really draws me towards them) but their storyline and poor wrestling is just too much to bear with. At this point they could be dangerous in the ring and could hurt someone, so I’d rather see them drop these belts on RAW after the PPV or something. In a news update, Sylvan Grenier has been complaining of back/neck pains for quite some time now, and he’ll have to take a month off to heal up a bit, so I guess this could hint at a title change soon.
I have enjoyed the announcers storyline. At the beginning, especially, it looked great. It’s a shame The Coach can’t wrestle, because I feel that for once he found something he’s really good at and can draw some positive attention to himself with. I don’t feel the same way at all for Al Snow. That’s just not a good role for him. In fact, I think that Coach does much better than Al himself. Even at commentating, Snow is far from being even ‘fairly good.’ I just pray that J.R. and King win this Sunday.
Test vs. Scott Steiner… I would give you my thoughts but it’s nothing different from before. Plus I’ll be talking about this match at WrestleMania XX, where their feud will probably get into phase 2, not the final phase, mind you. It’s time for Stacy to leave both, and align herself with someone like Val Venis who at least can wrestle.
Then we go to the best spot on RAW, the return of Lita. I think Fit Finlay and WWE have done a very good job over the past few weeks of setting up Lita’s return. They had Molly and Gail get the better out of Trish, who would be teamed up with others (Ivory, Jacqueline), but still got defeated. They presented Molly and Gail as a formidable duo, and Trish just had the odds against her. That worked perfect to reintroduce Lita.
I like what I saw from her as well. I was very afraid that upon her return, it’ll be the same old Lita, maybe just with a changed look, but it wasn’t. She has changed her list of moves and has tried out some new things. From what I understand, she has a whole new style to her, and I can’t wait to see it. Long injuries are very unpleasant, but the one positive thing that comes out of them is that upon a return, the wrestlers get a chance to reinvent themselves and push for new heights. That’s what happened to Trish Stratus following her ankle injury. She returned better than ever, and was no longer “a piece of T & A” but a legit wrestler. I hope the same strategy will work for Booker T. Though he hasn’t been out for that long, it’s still enough and a significant amount of time to get him pushed.
Word broke out today that there was a backstage fight at the RAW brand house show in Knoxville, TN, over the weekend. The Hurricane (Shane Helms) and Rosey were set to tag against Rodney Mack and Mark Henry. When Helms and Mack got together to lay out the tag match, according to reports, Helms felt that as veteran he should boo it and shot down ideas that Mack had. That irritated Mack, but it also angered Hurricane who started a “words war.” That turned into an altercation, and ended with a fight. Reports indicate that Hurricane was taken to a hospital following the conflict, and on the next day, WWE made sure Hurricane and Mack aren’t in the ring at the same time.
It’s examples like these that show you what goes on backstage at RAW. Some wrestlers are irritated and mad at their current situation, and the smallest thing could get them riled up and on fire. It’s not a good mix at all.
Well, folks, that will do it for this report. I’ll be back over the weekend with some SmackDown thoughts, as the big Iron Man Match takes place on the show. I’ll also have my Unforgiven predictions in our Roundtable, although I’ve pretty much went over my thoughts for each bout on the card. Well, I hope you have a good week! Make sure to stay tuned to TBL for the latest on Unforgiven!
Thanks for reading. See ya.