The show opened with a montage about Raw and the superstars talking about Raw. It was basically a good way to fill time and show the highlights of the Raw Xposed special that aired the night before. They then showed a new opening video that said, “WWE: The Power is Back.” I don’t know if that’s going to replace the old one with all the show lineups and the weird-ass music, but probably not. I wish it was because it was a good sense of nostalgia and the supposed “new generation.” We then go right into the Raw opening package and the pyro goes insane to the slightly modified Raw set. I would have liked to see them change the set a bit more, but I guess they figure that it’s not broke, so why fix it?
From the get-go, Mick Foley’s music hits and we go right into Piper’s Pit. Foley puts over Piper saying that the guest doesn’t normally introduce the host, but the host is a pure legend. Rowdy Piper then makes his way down to the ring to a huge pop. Piper then put over Foley saying he was a fan of his. He said he thought he was a crazy guy, but Foley jumps off cages, roofs, and into thumbtacks for fun. He then puts over Foley’s new book as crazy in a good way. Piper then says he and the crowd wants to know when Foley will return. Foley said he came back last year and got his ass kicked, so he would need a good reason to this time. Piper riles up the crowd by saying Foley’s got 12,000 reasons to come back. A “Foley” chant starts up as the music of the Ortons hit. For some reason, I really predicted this as soon as Foley alluded to last year. Could this be a sign of predictability to come? Bob & Randy stroll out and get in the ring. Foley yells at him asking why is here and saying Taker will beat him. Orton says he is here to talk to Piper and Piper acts like an old friend of the family acting like Orton has grown up so much. Orton tells him to shut the hell up and starts ranting about Piper and his dad and how his dad made Piper and Piper enjoyed all the success. He then decked Piper and the two went at it with Bob and Foley separating them. Bob then gave a cheap shot to Foley and Orton laid out both legends with the RKO and the family left on top. It wasn’t really as good of a segment as I thought it would be. It was good, but for Piper’s Pit on the Homecoming edition? I expected so much more. Plus, Piper took the RKO all wrong and it ended up looking like a crappy version of the stunner.
The announcers then hype up the Angle-Michaels match as the rubber match and next. First off, why the hell is this match first? This should definitely be the main event and I would say a better way to start off the night would be the tag match with Triple H’s return. It’s like giving away something way too soon. Second off, the Hardy-Edge match is also a rubber match. Why don’t you put that over as much?
Commercial break version one-ah!
Teddy Long and Eric Bischoff are backstage and the Bisch is bitching about Orton on Raw. Long swears he had no idea what was going on. He then tells him that he will give him a Raw moment no one will ever forget, at SmackDown’s expense. Long and Bischoff have some pretty good segments between them. It’s like the absolute opposites on a spectrum. If the rumors are right, it’s going to be a good feud.
Number One Contendership For WWE Championship
Thirty Minute Iron Man Match
Shawn Michaels Vs. Kurt Angle
Match was definitely good/great, but by this time, I think WWE needs to realize that Iron Man matches are not suited for TV. Lesnar-Angle did shit on ratings as well as Benoit-Triple H. Both matches were mediocre at best too and not what you would and should have expected from the four. Angle in control of Michael’s neck area in the beginning was golden, but he screwed it up yet again by quickly going for the Ankle Lock. I love Angle, but using the Ankle Lock is completely absurd. His whole move set focuses on the neck/back area, and he finishes with a body part he hasn’t even touched. It makes zero sense. When Angle, busts out the Ankle Lock out of desperation and late in the match, it makes sense as nothing in the neck area has worked. Even more, Angle doesn’t even try to work over the ankle most of the time besides that move. After the third fall though, Angle did start to soften up the ankle more which was a surprise from Angle. Like I said, it’s usually just neck work, neck work, neck work, neck work, time for the ankle, win. Match was still good, but definitely the worst of the three these two have had. Plus, it seemed like they tried to re-create the magic of the past two matches with re-done spots that just didn’t work. For instance, Angle tried to do the powerbomb into the turnbuckle from Vengeance. It came off bad as Angle overshot it and the neck didn’t really bounce off. HBK couldn’t really sell the neck this time either because his neck didn’t even hit it this time. Before I forget, we got versions two-ah and three-ah of the commercial break during this match as well. First fall went to Angle with an Angle Slam off the top rope. Second fall went to HBK with a quick roll-up through the Ankle Lock. Third fall went to Angle with the Ankle Lock. Fourth fall went to HBK with the Sweet Chin Music. I didn’t really like the way they did the falls in this match either. I felt it would have been more compelling to have Angle get two up on HBK in the first fifteen minutes and then have HBK battle back in the end. Plus, the last fall saw HBK use his injured leg. He didn’t even sell it like it was hurt, in all honesty. One great spot towards the end was HBK doing a Moonsault onto a standing Angle. Angle caught him and rolled it into an Ankle Lock. It looked a bit sloppy, but was nice eye-opening spot. Finish came when HBK hit the Sweet Chin Music again (no-selling again I might add) and tried to get the pin, but the clock ran out and the score was 2-2.
Star Wrestler: Kurt Angle
Shawn Michaels’ selling and offense was off tonight for some reason. Michaels in control didn’t really work and he barely sold the leg or neck working after his comebacks. It was just not what you would expect from HBK. Angle, on the other hand, actually worked the leg for a big surprise. He did go to the ankle too quick in my opinion, but he kept with it in the end and it made sense. Angle basically gets this nod because I was expecting a ton more that I didn’t get from HBK. Wait a minute, who the hell is number one contender?
After the match, HBK asks to go to sudden death, but Angle brushes him off and strolls away. What the hell? That’s like the fourth time WWE has killed the vicious Angle gimmick he has going and every time, they do it the same way by making him look like a coward. If he was a vicious heel, there is no way in hell he would just walk away. God, I love vicious Angle, but if WWE keeps burying the character like this, why do it at all?
HBK then hugged some legends at ringside and we were shown a clip of Cena at the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors thingy. Who cares?
Commercial break version four-ah!
After the break, Lillian Garcia put over Kevin Von Erich at ringside. The Von Erichs are huge in Texas, man. You know they did it just to edge VE closer to selling the WCCW library though. We then went backstage with McMahon and Bischoff. Bischoff asked for his match to be No DQ and Vince said bluntly: nope! Vince said that tonight he is in charge and Bischoff is another competitor. Bischoff says it is obvious he was made GM to be embarrassed daily and that Vince is a sick, perverted guy. McMahon states that no one knows just how perverted or sick he can be. He then excuses himself to go outside to the capacity crowd. Funny segment since it’s been awhile since that kind of McMahon has showed up on TV.
McMahon then struts to the ring with the stick up his ass after a very “unique” ring introduction by Lillian. Basically, in a segment that ran way too long, Vince showed some clips of him getting the better of Austin. Austin came out. Austin showed clips of Austin getting the better of Vince. Austin made fun of Vince. Austin stunned Vince. Shane McMahon came out to a huge pop. Austin stunned Shane before he could talk. Stephanie McMahon came out. Stephanie yelled at Austin. Austin gave her the “what” treatment. Austin thought she was flirting with him. Austin asked for a kiss. Austin got slapped. Austin stunned Stephanie. Linda McMahon came out. Linda asked why. Austin explained. Linda demanded an apology. Austin’s watch told him too. Austin and Linda drank beer together. Austin stunned Linda. That’s it.
Phew. It was a good segment, but ran way too freaking long. It just kind of dragged on and on and on. I was entertained, but it was just kind of dumb to kill time with this segment. Most of the segments of the night ran too long though, so what do you expect? Side note: the stunner on Linda was the worst in recorded history.
Commercial break version five-ah!
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